Acronym Glossary

Educational Terms and Acronyms

AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress): A statewide accountability system mandated by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 which requires each state to ensure that all schools and districts make Adequate Yearly Progress as defined by states and approved by the US Department of Education

Bell Ringers- students are asked to respond to an activity that either reaffirms prior days learning or introduces new learning to be addressed that day.  Students typically are allotted the time to do this while teacher is taking role, handling absent notes, assigning makeup work and other administrative duties.  Answers to the bell ringer are dealt with at the completion of the bell ringer activity.

BICS:  Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills - the language skills that ELs learn first before they are proficient in CALP

CALP:  Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency- the deeper language skills ELs need for academic language proficiency

Common Assessments- Created collaboratively by teams of teachers and given to 2 or more classes. The intention is to collaboratively examine the results to guide instruction and monitor and measure student achievement to promote high levels of success.

Congruent: The ability of the teacher to create an exact match between the activities in the classroom and the clear learning goal.

CSIP-Comprehensive school improvement plan.  School improvement plan with components for closing the achievement gaps in specific content areas and improving performance of all students.

Curriculum Alignment- the process of deciding who is teaching what and ensuring that all Core Content and Program of Studies Standards are taught!

DesCartes- A continuum of learning that translates MAP test scores into the skills and concepts students may be ready to learn.

Descriptive Feedback- Feedback provided to a student that is detailed and related to a specific learning task.   Poor example:  You need to look at this again….  Good Example:  You need to work on your sentence structure and change your passive tone in your writing.

Differentiated instruction: Process of designing lesson plans that meet the needs of the range of learners.  Such planning includes learning objectives, grouping practices, teaching methods, varied assignments, and varied materials chosen based on student skill levels, interest levels, and learning preferences.  Differentiated instruction focuses on instructional strategies, instructional groupings, and an array of materials.

DRA Developmental Reading Assessment- criterion-referenced reading assessments assesses student reading prficiency in the areas of:  reading engagement, oral reading fluency, and comprehension using leveled books.

ERQ:  Extended response question, formerly known as Open Response Questions.  This is a multiple part, written question that extends the students’ thinking beyond simply reproducing the information presented.

ESL:   English as a Second Language

ELL:  English Language Learner (or EL = English Learner)

Exit slips-students are asked to respond to a question or questions related to their understanding of the content that that was taught that day before they leave the classroom.  Can also be a summary statement of what the student understood about the day’s lesson.  Teacher reviews the exit slip prior to the next day’s lesson and modifies instruction as needed.

FLASHBACKS- multiple choice or short answer questions that are reviewed immediately, scored, and provide teachers with a snapshot of who knows what and what needs to be re-taught, or who needs intervention.    Weekly results should be analyzed to see if patterns occur in missed questions. If so, those questions should be put back on the flashback for the next week.

Formative Assessment (Assessment for Learning ) It helps drive instruction

Interventions: Instructional strategies and curricular components designed to improve or remediate a certain set of skills

IPR- detailed information on the results provided by the Kentucky Core Content Test (KCCT) and other components of the Kentucky School Testing System.

KPREP-KY assessment.  A criterion-referenced test based on Kentucky’s content standards. The results of this test are used to evaluate the school program in the state accountability system.

Learning targets- sometimes framed as “student will be able to…”  Directly related to deconstructed core content standards and Program of Studies.  Learning targets are measurable and should be announced and posted prior to instruction to provide the target for that days learning.  Measured by exit slips, student reflection, post tests.

Lexile- A Lexile measure is a valuable piece of information about either an individual’s reading ability or the difficulty of a text, like a book or magazine article. The Lexile measure is shown as a number with an “L” after it — 880L is 880 Lexile.  Find out more on

LIVE SCORING- A type of formative assessment focused on determining where students are with ORQ and content. As many adults as possible provide specific, immediate feedback as students complete ORQa for improvement at the time the error occurs.

MAP-Measures of Academic Progress.  Computerized tests given to provide teachers, students, and parents with an accurate assessment of what a student knows and needs to learn.

NCLB/ESEA – No Child Left Behind/Elementary and Secondary Education Act

NWEA-Northwest Evaluation Association.  Company that makes MAP testing program.  Website

NRT — Norm Reference Test:  An assessment that indicates success of student based on national averages.

Percentile rank: A number assigned to a score that indicates the percentage of scores found below that score.

PLC-(Professional Learning Community) every professional in the building engaging with colleagues in the ongoing exploration of three crucial questions that drive the work of those within a professional learning community:

  • What do we want each student to learn?
  • How will we know when each student has learned it?
  • How will we respond when a student experiences difficulty in learning?

RIT-Rausch Unit- A score in a given subject area on the MAP test.  A RIT score is an equal-interval score, like feet and inches, so scores can be added together to calculate accurate class or school averages.  RIT scores make it possible to follow a student’s educational growth from year to year.

RTI is an integrated approach that includes general, remedial, gifted, and special education in providing high-quality instruction that is matched to individual student needs. By providing scientifically-based intervention to students, monitoring progress on interventions, and using this information to determine who is in need of more intensive services, RTI further builds on the requirements of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act.

SIOP:  Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol - Model of instruction to help teach ELs (and all students)  Also known as SDAIE or Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English.

SPAGS-(Student Progress Auto Graphing Tool):  An excel-based program used for graphic progress monitoring data. Used in RTI and when referring a student for Special Ed. 

SAQ:  Short answer question.  This is a written question that exhibits the student’s learning with a simple, write or wrong answer.

SUMMATIVE ASSESSMENT-refers to the assessment of  learning that summarizes the development of learners at a particular time. After a period of work, e.g. a unit for two weeks, the learner sits for a test and then the teacher marks the test and assigns a score. The test aims to summarize learning up to that point.

V-BRICK-VBrick is the Ethernet TV system that is used throughout the district.  It allows you to view some television and recorded programs through your computers (and therefore through your projectors/ActivBoards as screens).