Glossary of Educational Terms

ADD - Attention Deficit Disorder

ADD is a neurobiological disorder. Typically, children with ADD have developmentally inappropriate behavior, including poor attention skills and impulsivity. These characteristics arise in early childhood, typically before age seven, are chronic and last at least six months. Children with ADD may also experience difficulty in the areas of social skills and self-esteem.

ADHD - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

ADHD is a neurobiological disorder; typically children with ADHD have developmentally inappropriate behavior, including poor attention skills, impulsivity and hyperactivity. These characteristics arise early in childhood, typically before age seven, are chronic and last at least six months. Children with ADHD may also experience difficulty in the areas of social skills and self-esteem.

ADM - Average Daily Membership

ADM is the number of days a student is in membership at a school divided by the number of days in a school month or school year.


An advocate is an individual who represents or speaks on behalf of another person's interests (as in a parent with his/her child).

AIG - Academically/Intellectually Gifted

APE - Adapted Physical Education

APE is a component of the educational curriculum in which physical, recreational and other therapists work with children who exhibit delays in motor development and perceptual motor skills. It is a related service some children might need in addition to or in place of physical education.


Artifacts are items used as evidence

ASHA - American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

ASHA is the national professional association for speech and language therapists and audiologists.

ASL - American Sign Language

ASL is a method of communicating by using hand signs. Each sign represents either one word or a concept that is typically expressed with several spoken words. For words that do not have a sign, finger spelling is used.


Assessment is the gathering of information by qualified personnel on a child's development and on the needs and priorities of the family. This information about the child and family is used in planning the Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP).

AU - Autism

Autism is a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and non-verbal communication and social interaction.

Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorder

This disorder involves developmental disabilities that share many of the same characteristics. Usually evident at age three, autism and PDD are neurological disorders that affect a child's ability to communicate, understand language, play and relate to others.

AYP - Adequate Yearly Progress
All public schools, in North Carolina and 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. If a school misses one target, it does not make AYP.

BA - Behavioral Assessment

BA is a gathering (through direct observation and by parent report) and analyzing information about a child's behavior. The information may be used to plan ways to help the child change unwanted behaviors. Observations include when a behavior occurs as well as the frequency and duration of the behavior.

BD - Behavior Disorders

BD is a term used by some states for children who exhibit difficulties with social interactions and inappropriate behavior that interferes with learning.

BT - Beginning Teacher (ILT)

BED - Behaviorally-Emotionally Disabled


A benchmark is an assessment given at the end of each nine weeks in EOG and EOC subjects

BIP - Behavioral Intervention Plan

BIP is a plan that is put in place to teach a child proper behavior and social skills. It should be positive in nature, not punitive.

BOG - Beginning of Grade

Beginning-of-Grade tests in reading and mathematics (grades 3-8) and science (grades 5 and 8) are taken by students during the first few weeks of the school year.

BOY - Beginning of Year

BOY is a term generally used to refer to mClass benchmark assessment data given within the first few weeks of a school year.

Certified Employees

Certified personnel are personnel employed in positions which require licenses issued by the Department of Public Instruction's Licensure Section. (i.e. teachers, administrators, speech pathologists, etc.)

Classified Employees

Classified personnel are in positions which do not require a professional educator's license issued by the Licensure Section, nor professional certification, prescribed by the State Board of Education

Common Core State Standards

A set of educational standards to help teachers ensure their students have the skills and knowledge they need to be successful by providing clear goals for student learning.

DD - Developmental Delayed or Developmental Disability

DD is any physical or mental condition that begins before the age of 18 years, causes the child to acquire skills at a slower rate than his/her peers, is expected to continue indefinitely and impairs the child's ability to function in society. This definition applies only to ages 3-7 in North Carolina.


Disability is a substantially limiting physical or mental impairment that affects basic life activities such as hearing, seeing, speaking, walking, caring for oneself, learning or working.

DOH - Department of Health

DOH is the government agency whose mission is to promote health and sound health policy, prevent disease and disability, improve health services systems and ensure that essential public health functions and safety net services are available.

DORF-Fluency - DIBELS Oral Reading Fluency

DIBELS Oral Reading Fluency is an assessment that measures how fluently the student reads the passage. (See Fluency)

DORF - Accuracy

DIBELS Oral Reading Fluency - Accuracy is an assessment that measures how accurate the student reads the words in the passage. The assessor keeps track of skipped, replaced, reversed words, etc…

DORF - Retell

DIBELS Oral Reading Fluency - Retell is an assessment that measures a student's level of comprehension of what they just read. The purpose of retell is to make sure that children understand that reading fast doesn't do any good if they don't understand/remember what they've just read.

DORF - Quality of Response

DIBELS Oral Reading Fluency - Quality of Response is an assessment that measures the level of comprehension. It is a way to add some credence to the Retell.

Due Process

This is a process for resolving a dispute between the family and the child and family service agency related to the delivery of early intervention services. In special education, due process refers to a process for resolving a dispute between the family and the public school related to the identification, evaluation or placement of a child with disabilities.

DPH - Due Process Hearing

DPH is a legal proceeding, similar to a court proceeding, where a hearing officer is presented evidence by disagreeing parties. A verbatim record is taken of the proceedings and a hearing officer writes a decision that may be appealed to the state education agency and, if desired, to a civil court.

DPI - Department of Public Instruction

DSM-IV - Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV

DSM-IV is the American Psychiatric Association's classification and description of behavioral and emotional disorders.

EC - Exceptional Children

EC is the term used in North Carolina for "special education."

ED - Emotional Disturbance

ED is a condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects educational performance.

  • An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory or health factors;
  • An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers;
  • Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances;
  • A tendency to develop general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression; or
  • A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.

EI - Early Intervention

EI is specialized services provided to infants and toddlers ages birth to three who are at risk for or are showing signs of developmental delay.

ELL - English Language Learner

ELL is a student whose first language is one other than English and who needs language assistance to participate fully in the regular curriculum.

EOC - End-of-Course

End-of-Course tests designed to access the competencies defined by the Standard Course of Study for three mandated courses: Algebra I/Integrated I, English II and Biology. Tests are taken during the last two weeks of school for students on a traditional calendar and the last week of the course for students on a block schedule.

EOG - End-of-Grade

End-of-Grade tests in reading and mathematics (grades 3-8) and science (grades 5 and 8) that are taken by students during the last three weeks of the school year.

EOY - End of Year

EOY is a term generally used to refer to mClass benchmark assessment data given within the last few weeks of a school year.

ESL - English as a Second Language

ESL is a program model that delivers specialized instruction to students who are learning English as a new language.

Essential Standards

A set of standards in content areas that provide clear goals for student learning.

ESY - Extended School Year

ESY is the delivery of special education and related services during the summer vacation or other extended periods when school is not in session. The purpose for ESY is to prevent a child with a disability from losing previously learned skills. The IEP team must consider the need for Extended School Year at each meeting and must describe those services specifically with goals and objectives. Not all special education students require an extended school year. Extended school year services must be individually crafted.

EVAAS - Education Value Added Assessment System
SASĀ® EVAAS™ for K-12 is a customized software system available to all NC school districts that provides diagnostic reports quickly to district and school staff. EVAAS tools provide a precise measurement of student progress over time and a reliable diagnosis of opportunities for growth that help to identify which students are at risk for under-achievement. By viewing easy-to-understand charts and graphs accessed via the Web, users can produce reports that predict student success, show the effects of instruction at particular schools or reveal patterns in subgroup performance.

FAPE - Free Appropriate Public Education

FAPE is an individualized educational program that is designed to meet a child's unique needs and from which a child receives educational benefit.

FBA - Functional Behavior Assessment

FBA is a process that examines why a child behaves the way he or she does given the nature of the child and what is happening in the environment. It is a process for collecting data to determine the possible causes of problem behaviors and to identify strategies to address the behaviors.

FERPA - Family Education Rights and Privacy Act

FERPA is a federal law that protects the privacy and transfer of student education records.


Fluency is the automaticity with which a child links words together when reading.

Formative Assessment

Formative Assessment is a process used by teachers and students during instruction that provides feedback to adjust ongoing teaching and learning to improve intended instructional outcomes.

FRL - Free and Reduced Priced Lunch

With FRL, children qualify, based upon parent or guardian financial status, to receive either free or reduced priced lunch through a federal governmental program.

FSF - First Sound Fluency

An early stage of Phonemic Awareness assessed with DIBELS. It is the ability to hear/distinguish beginning sounds in spoken words.

Functional Behaviors

These are behaviors (basic skills, such as meal-time skills) the child has mastered or needs to master, in order to get along as independently as possible in society.

GT - Gifted and Talented

GT are those students with above average intellectual abilities. In North Carolina, these students are described as "AIG" (Academically/Intellectually Gifted).

Head Start

This is a federal program (not operated by Moore County Schools) started in 1965 aimed at providing a comprehensive preschool program for children ages three to five from low-income families. Planned activities are designed to address individual needs and to help children attain their potential in growth and mental and physical development before starting school. Ten percent of enrollment is required to be for children with disabilities.


HomeBase is a statewide, instructional improvement (IIS) and student information system (SIS) for teachers, students, parents and administrators

IDEA - 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. It provides the legal authority for early intervention and special educational services for children birth to age 21. Part B outlines services for children ages three to 21. Part C outlines services for children birth to age three.

IEP - 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.

IGP - Individual Growth Plan also called a PDP Professional Development Plan

IQ - Intelligence Quotient

IQ is the score of an intelligence test that is a form of psychological testing of an individual's capacity to learn and deal effectively with his/her environment.

LD - Learning Disability

LD is a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or using spoken or written language, which may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or do mathematical calculations.

LEA - Local Education Agency

This term is synonymous with a local school system or a local school district, indicating that a public board of education or other public authority maintains administrative control of the public schools in a city or county.

LEP - Limited English Proficient

LEP refers to students whose first language is one other than English who need language assistance to participate fully in the regular curriculum and the statewide assessment system.

LNF - Letter Naming Fluency

Letter Naming Fluency is an early DIBELS assessment noting the ability to match letter name to a symbol. This is a predictor of future reading success, but is not a necessary skill for learning to read. It is Benchmarked in Kindergarten, but is not Progress Monitored.

LRE - Least Restrictive Environment

LRE is the placement that is as close as possible to the general education environment. This is the educational setting that permits a child to receive the most educational benefit while participating in a regular educational environment to the maximum extent appropriate. LRE is a requirement under the IDEA.


mClass is a system of assessment that measures the development of foundational literacy skills for elementary level students

MD - Mentally Disabled

MOY - Middle of Year

MOY is a term generally used to refer to mClass benchmark assessment data given near the mid-mark of the school year.

MTSS - Multi-Tiered System of Support A Multi-Tiered System of Support is created to provide students support when they struggle both in the area of academics and behavior

Natural Environment

This refers to the natural or everyday settings for a child. These are places where the child would be if she or she didn't have a special developmental concern. It is where all children would be (for example, home, childcare, parks, etc.).

NCDPI - The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction

NCDPI administers the policies adopted by the State Board of Education and offers instructional, financial, technological and personnel support to all public school systems in the state.

NCEES - The North Carolina Educator Evaluation System
A system used to evaluate the performance of all teachers, principals, assistant principals, instructional central office administrators and superintendents in order to promote effective leadership, quality teaching and student learning while enhancing professional practice that leads to improved instruction.


The North Carolina EXTEND1 is an alternate assessment designed to measure the performance of students with significant cognitive disabilities using alternate achievement standards.


The North Carolina EXTEND2 is an alternate assessment designed to measure grade-level competencies of students with disabilities using modified achievement standards in a simplified multiple choice format.

NCLB - 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. NCLB requires that teachers be "highly qualified" (HQ), that teacher assistants be "qualified," and that teachers have the opportunity for "high quality" professional development.

NCSCOS - North Carolina Standard Course of Study

NCSCOS is a document that defines the content standards at each grade level and each high school course for all students.

NWF-CLS - Nonsense Word Fluency - Correct Letter Sounds

Nonsense Word Fluency - Correct Letter Sounds is a DIBELS segment that assesses a student's associating a sound with a letter(s). Seeing nonsense syllables and being able to distinguish the sounds.

NWF-WWR - Nonsense Word Fluency - Whole Words Read

Nonsense Word Fluency - Whole Words Read is a DIBELS segment that assesses a student's understanding of more advanced phonics. Blending the sounds the letters represented to read words (c-a-t is cat). Seeing nonsense syllables and blending all the sounds together with automaticity.

ODD - Oppositional Defiant Disorder

ODD is a disorder in which children who exhibit defiant and anti-social behaviors over a long period of time and environment.

OHI - Other Health Impaired

OHI is an educational classification that describes students who have chronic or acute health problems that cause limited strength, vitality or alertness that adversely affects a child's educational performance.

OT - Occupational Therapy

OT - Occupational Therapist

An OT is a professional who provides therapy services based on engagement in meaningful activities of daily life such as self-care skills, education, recreation, work or social interaction.

PBIS - Positive Behavior Intervention Support

Positive Behavioral Intervention and Support is a systemic approach to proactive, school-wide behavior based on a Response to Intervention (RtI) model. PBIS applies evidence-based programs, practices and strategies for all students to increase academic performance, improve safety, decrease problem behavior, and establish a positive school culture.

PDD -- Pervasive Development Disorders

PDD refers to the overall category of Pervasive Developmental Disorders that includes autism, Rett Syndrome, Asperger's syndrome, PDD-NOS and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder.

PEP - Personalized Education Plan

A PEP is an individualized educational plan designed to improve a student's performance to grade-level proficiency.

PLC - Professional Learning Communities

Professional Learning Communities are groups of teachers who collaborate together to ensure all learning for all students.


PowerSchool is an online student information management system.

PSF - Phoneme Segmentation Fluency

Phoneme Segmentation Fluency is a more advanced stage of phonemic awareness assessed in DIBELS. It is the ability to hear/distinguish all the sounds in words.

PT - Physical Therapist

A PT is a professional who is devoted to improving a person's physical abilities through activities that strengthen muscular control and motor coordination.

PTA - Parent Teacher Association

Parent Teacher Association is a group of parents that gather to support our school

PWN - Prior Written Notice

Parents of exceptional children must be informed of their rights in writing. It is a form that the school must use to tell parents why they're doing what they're doing or why they're not doing what they're not doing.

RtA - Read to Achieve

RtA is a component of the Excellent Public Schools Act that focuses on early grades reading proficiency.

RtI - Responsiveness to Instruction

Responsiveness to Instruction is a problem solving model that integrates assessment and intervention within a three-tiered system to maximize student achievement and reduce behavior problems by identifying students at risk for poor learning outcomes, monitor student progress, provide evidence-based interventions and adjust the intensity and nature of those interventions depending on a student's responsiveness

READY Accountability Model

The READY Accountability Model is the North Carolina accountability model that reports how our schools are performing in preparing our students to be college and career ready.

SBE - State Board of Education

The State Board of Education is charged with supervising and administering "the free public school system and the educational funds provided for its support." The Board consists of the Lieutenant Governor, the Treasurer and eleven members appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the General Assembly in Joint Session.

SCOS or SCS - North Carolina Standard Course of Study

The NC SCOS is the guiding document outlining what should be taught in North Carolina public school classrooms.


Screening is the process of looking at a child's development to find out if there are any areas of concern. It is used to recommend children for more in-depth evaluation. SEA - State Education Agency

SEA - State Education Agency

SEA is the federal term for each state education department. SEA is another name for NCDPI.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act

This is a federal law that protects the civil rights of individuals with disabilities. This law is closely intertwined with IDEA. Children with disabilities who are not eligible for special education may qualify for accommodations under Section 504.

SIP - School Improvement Plan

SIP is a plan that includes strategies for improving student performance, how and when improvements will be implemented, use of state funds, requests for waivers, etc. Plans are in effect for no more than three years.

SIT - School Improvement Team

The SIT is the team charged with developing the School Improvement Plan (SIP).

SL - Speech Language

SL Disorders - Speech and Language Disorders

Speech and language disorders are problems in communication and related areas such as oral motor function. These delays and disorders range from simple sound substitutions to the inability to understand or use language or use the oral-motor mechanism for functional speech and feeding. Some causes of speech and language disorders include hearing loss, neurological disorders, brain injury, mental retardation, drug abuse, physical impairments such as cleft lip or palate and vocal abuse or misuse. Frequently, however, the cause is unknown.

SLD - Specific Learning Disability

SLD is a disorder that affects the ability to listen, think, speak, read, spell or do mathematical calculations.

SLP - Speech Language Pathologist

A SLP is a trained therapist who provides treatment to help a person develop or improve articulation, communication skills and oral-motor skills. SLPs also help children with speech errors and/or those with difficulties in language patterns.

Special Education

Special Education is specialized instruction tailor-made to fit the unique learning strengths and needs of students with disabilities. A major goal of special education is to teach the skills and knowledge the child needs to be as independent as possible. Special education programs focus on academics and also include therapy and other related services to help the child overcome difficulties in all areas of development. These services may be provided in a variety of educational settings but are required by IDEA to be delivered in the least restrictive environment. In Moore County Schools, the term used is "exceptional children."

Summative Assessment

A Summative Assessment is a cumulative evaluations used to measure student growth after instruction, generally given at the end of a course in order to determine whether long term learning goals have been met.

TA - Teacher Assistant


Therapy is treatment for certain physical or psychological conditions. The most common forms of therapy provided through early intervention and special education include occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech/language therapy.

Title I

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. Many of the major requirements in the No Child Left Behind federal law are outlined in Title I - Adequate Yearly Progress, teacher and paraprofessional standards, accountability, sanctions for schools designated for improvement, standards and assessments, annual state report cards, professional development and parent involvement. Title I used to be known as Chapter I.


Transition is the movement from one service, location or program to another. Young children with disabilities transition at age three from early intervention to preschool special education services or to other community settings and services (early intervention and special education). Adolescents transition from school to adult services.

TRC - Text Reading Comprehension

Text Reading Comprehension is an mClass measure of a child's automaticity in applying foundational skills to authentic text. It determines a student's instructional level in reading. This is the level that the student is competent enough to decode most of the words with basic comprehension of the text, but needs instruction and scaffolding to be able to read this level independently.

TWC - [North Carolina] Teacher Working Conditions [Survey]
A biennial survey of all North Carolina public schools' licensed staff, the TWC survey provides educators with an opportunity to express their perceptions about working conditions at their schools. Information gathered from the survey is shared with school staff, district administrators, parents and the community for school improvement planning purposes. Survey results are available online at www.ncteachingconditions.org. In addition, the new evaluation instruments for superintendents, principals and teachers use TWC responses to reflect on the presence of working conditions in the school.

VI - Visual Impairment

VI is impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a child's educational performance.

WR - Word Recognition

Word Recognition is an mClass assessment that assesses a sample of high frequency words. Automaticity with high frequency words is directly correlated to increases in fluency.