If your child is struggling with learning, you may want to talk to the school about getting her extra support. When you meet, you may hear some unfamiliar educational terms. This printable mini-glossary can help you stay on top of the discussion.
Accommodation is a change in classroom techniques or materials that helps a student work around her issues. The student still needs to learn the same material.
Age equivalent scores represent how a student is performing compared to her peers.
Assistive technology is any kind of equipment, software or app that helps a student work around her difficulties.
Behavior intervention plan (BIP) is a plan for how the school will address a student’s disruptive behavior. It can include positive strategies, program modifications and supplementary aids.
Curriculum-based assessment is how the teacher measures a student’s progress. It also measures the success of the instruction.
Functional behavioral assessment (FBA) is a process to identify what sets off a student’s behavior problem. It includes coming up with a plan for classroom strategies that might help.
Grade equivalent scores represent how a student is performing compared to students at other grade levels.
Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a document that states the special education services a school will give a particular child. By law it’s supposed to fit the child’s individual needs. (Often called Individualized Education Plan.)
IEP goals are what a child may be expected to achieve by the end of the year. They’re listed in the IEP.
IEP team is a group of people who participate in creating a student’s IEP. It includes parents, at least one regular education teacher, at least one special education teacher and others.
Modifications are changes in what’s taught to or expected from a student. The student may have a simpler assignment or may not be expected to learn as much as her peers.
Multidisciplinary evaluation is an evaluation of a student by at least two professionals, using a few tests. The purpose is to see if the student can get special education services.
Percentile rank (percentiles) refers to how to a student ranks against the general population of students the same age.
Portfolio assessment is a collection of the student’s work, such as writing samples, analyzed to track a student’s progress.
Remedial education/instruction is a program designed for middle and high school students who have issues with reading, writing or math. It provides individualized instruction.
Response to intervention (RTI) is a process that provides extra help to struggling students. It involves adjusting instruction to meet a child’s needs and then monitoring the child’s progress.
Screening is often the first step in determining if a child has a learning issue. It may include observation, interviews, a brief written test and a review of school and health records.
Specific learning disability (SLD) is a language-based condition that causes difficulty with listening, thinking, speaking, reading, writing, spelling or math.
Standardized norm-referenced tests compare a student’s performance with that of peers who have taken the same test.
Standards-based education describes what children should know or be able to perform each year of their education. It’s an outgrowth of the No Child Left Behind Act.
Supplemental educational services refers to free extra academic help (including tutoring) provided to students from low-income families. It’s paid for by the school district.
504 plan lists accommodations a school has agreed to provide to a student under civil rights law. Unlike an IEP, it doesn’t offer remediation or modifications.
Understanding terms educators use can make it easier to communicate with your child’s school. Getting to know legal jargon can be helpful, too. Explore terms lawyers use.