Glossary of Terms



Changes in how material is taught or a test is administered but does not substantially alter what the test measures; includes changes in presentation format, response format, test setting or test timing.


See Average Daily Attendance (ADA).


See Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).


See Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Advanced Placement Program (AP)

A program that offers high school students the opportunity to receive university credit for their work during high school. For more information see

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodation, communications, and governmental activities. The ADA also establishes requirements for telecommunications relay services.


See Advanced Placement Program (AP).

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) a medical diagnosis; may also be referred to as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).


A type of PDD characterized by impairment in social interaction, impairment in communication, and restricted, and repetitive and stereotypical patterns of behavior, interests and activities. 

Average Daily Attendance (ADA)

The total number of days of student attendance divided by the total number of days in the regular school year. A student attending every school day would equal one ADA. Generally, ADA is lower than enrollment due to such factors as transiency, dropouts, and illness. The state of New Hampshire awards funds to schools competitively by a formula based on ADA.


Block Scheduling

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 state-issued license certifying that the teacher has completed the necessary basic training courses and passed the teacher exam.

Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA)

The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) was enacted by Congress in 2000 to address concerns about children’s access to obscene or harmful content over the Internet. CIPA imposes certain requirements on schools or libraries that receive discounts for Internet access or internal connections through the E-rate program – a program that makes certain communications services and products more affordable for eligible schools and libraries.

Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)

The law was created to protect the privacy of children under 13. The Act was passed by the U.S. Congress in 1998 and took effect in April 2000. COPPA is managed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

The Act specifies:

  • That sites must require parental consent for the collection or use of any personal information of young Web site users.
  • What must be included in a privacy policy, including the requirement that the policy itself be posted anywhere data is collected.
  • When and how to seek verifiable consent from a parent or guardian.
  • What responsibilities the operator of a Web site legally holds with regards to children's privacy and safety online, including restrictions on the types and methods of marketing targeting those under 13.

See Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA).

Common Core State Standards (CCSS)

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are a set of high quality academic expectations in English-language arts (ELA) and mathematics that define the knowledge and skills all students should master by the end of each grade level in order to be on track for success in college and career. For additional information see


See Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).


Danielson Model

The Framework for Teaching, created by Charlotte Danielson, is a comprehensive and coherent framework that identifies those aspects of a teacher’s responsibilities that have been documented through empirical studies and theoretical research as promoting improved student learning. The Framework for Teaching is a validated” instrument; that is, studies have shown that teachers who receive higher ratings on their evaluation produce greater gains in student test scores.


The Framework for Teaching is a research-based set of components of instruction, aligned to the InTASC standards, and grounded in a constructivist view of learning and teaching. The complex activity of teaching is divided into 22 components (and 76 smaller elements) clustered into four domains of teaching responsibility. Each component defines a distinct aspect of a domain; two to five elements describe a specific feature of a component. Levels of teaching performance (rubrics) describe each component and provide a roadmap for improvement of teaching. For more information see


See Drug and Resistance Education (DARE).

Division for Children, Youth & Families (DCYF)

The Division for Children, Youth and Families manages protective programs on behalf of New Hampshire's children and youth and their families. For more information see


A piece of written, printed, or digital media that provides information or evidence or that serves as an official record. Documents provide you with the ability to find and use the information that you need. Examples of documents include reports, labels, lists, tables, forms, graphs, signs, maps, images, schedules, schematics, and technical drawings.


A grade seven through twelve student who left school prior to completing the school year. This does not include students who receive a General Education Development (GED), transfer to another high school or to a college, move out of the United States or enrolled late.

Drug and Resistance Education (DARE)

An international education program founded by Daryl Gates that seeks to prevent use of controlled drugs, membership in gangs, and violent behavior. For more information see


Language-based learning disability that affects reading, but can also involve difficulty with writing, spelling, listening, speaking and math. 


English as a Second Language (ESL)

Classes or support programs for students whose native language is not English.


See English as a Second Language (ESL)

Extracurricular Activities

Extracurricular activities are those that fall outside the realm of the normal curriculum of school. Extracurricular activities are generally voluntary as opposed to mandatory, non-paying, social, philanthropic as opposed to scholastic, and often involve others of the same age. Students often organize and direct these activities under teacher sponsorship. Activities that often involve some time commitment outside of the regular school day, such as sports and band, are also considered extracurricular activities.


Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

A federal law that regulates the management of confidential student records and disclosure of information from those records. The act has its own administrative enforcement mechanism. 


See Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).


A printed or digital document with blank spaces for information to be inserted. Forms are a good way to collect data in an efficient, organized, and complete manner.

Free & Reduced Lunch Program

A federal program that provides breakfast, lunch, and/or after school snacks for students from low-income families.  For more information see



See Google Apps For Education (GAFE).


See General Education Development (GED).

General Education Development (GED)

A high school equivalency test that certifies that a person has the skills and knowledge equal to those of a high school graduate.

Google Apps For Education (GAFE)

Google offers to schools at no cost a hosted solution for email, calendar, documents, and chat through Google Apps for Education. Google Apps is an integrated communication and collaboration solution. For more information see


See Grade Point Average (GPA).

Grade Point Average (GPA)

A measure of a student's academic achievement in school; calculated by dividing the total number of grade points received by the total number attempted. Details on how GPA is calculated and the related scale can be found in the student handbook.


Highly Qualified Teacher (HQT)

According to NCLB, a teacher who has obtained full state teacher certification or has passed the state teacher licensing examination and holds a license to teach in the state; holds a minimum of a bachelor’s degree; and has demonstrated subject area competence in each of the academic subjects in which the teacher teaches.

Honor Roll

A list of students who have earned grades above a specific average during a marking period (quarter, semester, trimester) or school year. Qualification requirements can be found in the school handbook.


See Highly Qualified Teacher (HQT).



See Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).


See Individualized Education Program (IEP).

Individualized Education Program (IEP)

An Individualized Education Program, commonly referred to as an IEP, is mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).


An IEP defines the individualized objectives of a child who has been found with a disability, as defined by federal regulations. The IEP is intended to help children reach educational goals more easily than they otherwise would. In all cases the IEP must be tailored to the individual student's needs as identified by the IEP evaluation process, and must especially help teachers and related service providers (such as paraprofessional educators) understand the student's disability and how the disability affects the learning process.


An IEP is meant to ensure that students receive an appropriate placement, not "only" special education classrooms or special schools. It is meant to give the student a chance to participate in "normal" school culture and academics as much as is possible for that individual student. In this way, the student is able to have specialized assistance only when such assistance is absolutely necessary, and otherwise maintains the freedom to interact with and participate in the activities of his or her more general school peers.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) which is Public Law 108-446 (generally referred to as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. IDEA is the Federal special education law that provides a free appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment to all eligible children with disabilities. 

Informed Consent

Requirement that the parent be fully informed of all information that relates to any action that school wants to take about the child, that parent understands that consent is voluntary and may be revoked at any time. 

Instructional Scaffolding

An instructional technique in which the teacher breaks a complex task into smaller tasks and supports students as they learn, and then gradually shifts responsibility for learning to the students.


See Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC).

Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC)

A consortium of state education agencies and national educational organizations dedicated to the reform of the preparation, licensing, and on-going professional development of teachers. Created in 1987, InTASC's primary constituency is state education agencies responsible for teacher licensing, program approval, and professional development. Its work is guided by one basic premise: An effective teacher must be able to integrate content knowledge with the specific strengths and needs of students to assure that all students learn and perform at high levels. 


Job Shadowing

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.



The ability to learn through body movements


Lesson Plan

A teacher's detailed description of the course of instruction for an individual lesson. While there is no one way to construct a correct lesson plan, most lesson plans contain similar elements.


The ability to read and write. In modern context, the word means reading and writing in a level adequate for written communication and generally a level that enables one to successfully function at certain levels of a society.



A developmental relationship between a more experienced mentor and a less experienced partner referred to as a mentee or protégé.

The word itself was inspired by the character of Mentor in Homer's Odyssey. Though the actual Mentor in the story is a somewhat ineffective old man, the goddess Athena takes on his appearance in order to guide young Telemachus in his time of difficulty.

Historically significant systems of mentorship include apprenticing under the medieval guild system.



See No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).


See New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP).

New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP)

The New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) is a series of reading, writing, mathematics and science achievement tests, administered annually, which were developed in response to the Federal No Child Left Behind Act. For more information see

No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB)

Signed into law by President Bush in 2002, No Child Left Behind sets performance guidelines for all schools and also stipulates what must be included in accountability reports to parents. It mandates annual student testing, includes guidelines for underperforming schools, and requires states to train all teachers and assistants to be "highly qualified".

NCLB Is Based on Four Principles of Educational Reform
* Stronger accountability for results;
* Increased flexibility and local control;
* Expanded options for parents
* An emphasis on teaching qualifications and methods.

Of these four, accountability for results is the principle that has the potential to greatly improve the educational results for children with LD.

North West Evaluation Association (NWEA)

Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) is a not-for-profit organization committed to helping school districts throughout the nation improve learning for all students. NWEA partners with more than 2,200 school districts representing more than three million students. As a result of NWEA tests, educators can make informed decisions to promote a student’s academic growth.  For more information see


See North West Evaluation Association (NWEA).


Occupational Therapist (OT)

Specialist who works with students to help them maximize their independence in school, leisure, and self-care.


See Occupational Therapist (OT).



Individual who provides direct support to a child, teacher, or other school professional and who works only under the direct supervision of qualified personnel. Not required to meet the highly qualified teacher standards in NCLB. 

Parent Teacher Organization (PTO)

A national organization of parents, teachers, and other interested persons that has chapters in schools. They rely entirely on voluntary participation and offer assistance to schools in many different areas.


See Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD).


See Physical Education (PE).


The art or science of teaching. The word comes from the ancient Greek paidagogos, the slave who took little boys to and from school as part of paideia.

Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD)

Refers to a group of five disorders characterized by delays in the development of multiple basic functions including socialization and communication.

Physical Education (PE)

A course in the curriculum which utilizes the learning medium of large-muscle activities in a play or movement exploration setting.

Physical Therapist (PT)

Specialist who assists in the development and maintenance of the physical potential of a child with a disability for independence in all educationally related activities.


See Professional Learning Community (PLC).


Policies are clear, simple statements of how the school intends to conduct its services, actions or business. Policies are created then adopted by a committee, administrator or school board.


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.


A procedure is an established or official manner of proceeding in a task or process. They describe how each policy will be put into action in the school. Each procedure outlines - Who will do what; what steps they need to take; and which documents or forms to use.

Professional Development

Activities that develop an individual’s skills, knowledge, expertise and other characteristics as a teacher.

Professional Learning Community (PLC)

Groupings of new and experienced educators who come together over time for the purpose of gaining new information, reconsidering previous knowledge and beliefs, and building on their own and others' ideas and experiences in order to work on a specific agenda intended to improve practice and enhance students' learning in K–12 schools and other educational settings. 


See Physical Therapist (PT).


See Parent Teacher Organization (PTO).

Public Education

Schooling provided for the general public by the government, whether national or local, and paid for by taxes, which leads to it often being called state education.


Response to Intervention (RTI)

A Problem-Solving Model that is a four level system that provides increasing levels of support for greater levels of need. A problem-solving process occurs within each level of the system. It is a collaborative process in which all teachers and staff collect and share data to increase student learning.


See Response to Intervention (RTI).

Rubric (academic)

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).



See Standardized Achievement Test (SAT).


School Administrative Unit (SAU).

School Board

A local board or authority responsible for the provision and maintenance of schools.

School Psychologist

A practitioner who applies their psychological training to assess and help school children.

Section 504

Provision of the rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibits recipients of federal funds from discrimination against persons with disabilities. 


A conference or other meeting for discussion or training.

Smarter Balanced

Smarter Balanced is a state-led consortium working collaboratively to develop next-generation assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) that accurately measure student progress toward college and career readiness.  For additional information see

Special Education (SPED)

Describes an educational alternative that focuses on the teaching of students with academic, behavioral, health, or physical needs that cannot sufficiently be met using traditional educational programs or techniques.


See Special Education (SPED).

Standardized Achievement Test (SAT)

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. 


STEM is an acronym referring to the academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The term is typically used in the USA when addressing education policy and curriculum choices in schools from k-12 through college to improve competitiveness in technology development. It has implications for workforce development, national security concerns and immigration policy.


Strategic Plan

A strategic plan is a document that determines where an organization is going, charts a course of action, defines what resources are needed, and conveys measures of success.  In contrast to long-term planning, which begins with the current status and defines a path to meet estimated future needs, a strategic plan began with the desired results in mind and works backwards to an organization's current status.


A person formally engaged in learning, especially one enrolled in a school or college


A document with an outline and summary of topics to be covered in a course. It is prepared by the teacher and usually given to each student during the first class session.



A person whose job is to teach students about certain subjects. In primary and secondary school teachers must meet state standards before they can teach. These standards include a college degree, specialized training, and certifications. 

Team Teaching

A teaching method in which two or more teachers teach the same subjects or theme. The teachers may alternate teaching the entire group or divide the group into sections or classes that rotate between the teachers.


A manual of instruction or a standard book in any branch of study. They are classified by both the target audience and the subject. 

Title 1

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.

Title II

Title II (Teacher Quality) is part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Title II is a formulated grant for school library resources, textbooks, and other instructional materials. The purpose of the grant program is to increase academic achievement by improving teacher and principal quality. This program is carried out by: increasing the number of highly qualified teachers in classrooms; increasing the number of highly qualified principals and assistant principals in schools; and increasing the effectiveness of teachers and principals by holding LEAs and schools accountable for improvements in student academic achievement.



A brief intensive course, a seminar or a series of meetings emphasizing interaction and exchange of information among a usually small number of participants.

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