Terms to know in your search for the right educational experience for your child and teen.
ACCREDITATION Official certification that guarantees a school provides an education of a reasonably high quality. Schools must prove levels of quality and maintain continuous standards of improvement.
AYP Under the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, all public school campuses, school districts, and states are evaluated for Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in three areas: Reading/language Arts, mathematics, and graduation rate (for high schools and districts) or attendance rate (for elementary and middle/junior high schools). If schools receiving Title 1, Part A funds fail to meet AYP standards for two consecutive years, they must take corrective actions, such as offering supplemental educational services or giving students the choice to attend another school.
CHARTER SCHOOL A tax-supported public school that has been granted a charter exempting it from selected state or local rules and regulations. It is typically governed by a group or organization under a contract/charter with the state. While it allows for greater educational choice for a school community, it must meet accountability standards.. Alas, Middle Georgia doesn’t have one.
CRCT Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) are student achievement tests designed to measure how well students have mastered the content and skills that are unique to Georgia’s Quality Core Curriculum at each grade level. For the 2002-2003 year, the CRCTs were administered in grades 4, 6, and 8 in reading, English/language arts, and mathematics. For purposes of Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), CRCT results for students attending school for the Full Academic Year (FAY) in grades 4, 6, and 8 on the reading combined with English/language arts and on the mathematics subtests are used in calculating the academic component of AYP for schools containing grades 3-8.
EIP Early Intervention Programs (EIP) are designed to serve students in grades kindergarten through five who are at risk of not reaching or maintaining academic grade level, as defined in the department’s Early Intervention Program Guidelines. The program provides assistance to enable students to obtain the necessary academic skills to reach grade-level performance in the shortest possible time. A student who is assigned to the EIP is by definition “below-grade level.”
GHSGT The Georgia High School Graduation Tests (GHSGT) are comprised of multiple-choice assessments in the areas of English/language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies. These curriculum-based assessments are administered in grade 11 for the first-time. Students have multiple opportunities to take these tests prior to graduation. For purposes of Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), results for first-time 11th-grade test takers in English/language arts and mathematics are used in calculating the academic performance component of AYP for schools containing grades 9-12.
HOPE The HOPE Scholarship Program (Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally), created in 1993, is a merit based higher educational scholarship that is funded entirely by the revenue from the Georgia Lottery, and is administered by the Georgia Student Finance Commission (GSFC). As of 2006, more than $3 billion in scholarships had been awarded to more than 900,000 Georgia students.
IEP An Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a written document which is developed for each eligible student with a disability in accordance with the requirements of the Federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
MAGNET SCHOOL A public school that offers a specific or enhanced curriculum designed for students of special interest or ability.
MISSION/PHILOSOPHY A statement outlining the guidelines a school follows to achieve its goals or maintain performance standards.
MONTESSORI A school following the principles developed by Dr. Maria Montessori focusing on the unique individuality, self-reliance, and independence of nursery, elementary, and middle school children.
NAEP National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as “the Nation’s Report Card,” is the only nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America’s students know and can do in various subject areas. Since 1969, assessments have been conducted periodically in mathematics, reading, science, writing, U.S. history, geography, civics, the arts, and other subjects.
NAIS National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) is a membership organization that represents nearly 1,400 U.S. independent schools, including day, boarding, and day/boarding schools; elementary and secondary schools; and boys’, girls’, and coeducational schools. NAIS offers standards, targeted resources, and networking for its members.
NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND ACT OF 2001 The federal law that authorizes funding and contains the current requirements for Title I and other federal educational programs. On January 8, 2002, President Bush signed into law the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. The Act has been heralded as the most sweeping reform of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) since ESEA was enacted in 1965. It expands the federal role in K-12 education and was written to help close the achievement gap between disadvantaged and minority students and their peers. It is based on four basic principles: Stronger accountability for results, increased flexibility and local control, expanded options for parents, and an emphasis on teaching methods that have been proven to work.
OPEN HOUSE An event held at a school and open to the public at which parents can learn more about the school and its offerings—usually occurring in the fall and early winter.
PROFICIENCY The level of performance considered satisfactory on each assessment. On the CRCT, a student is proficient if his/her performance is classified as “meeting standards” or “exceeding standards.” On the GHSGT, a student is proficient if his/her performance is classified as “pass” or “pass-plus.”
PSAT The Preliminary SAT(PSAT) is a standardized test that offers students practice for the SAT Reasoning Test and allows them to qualify for the National Merit Scholarship Program.
REPLY DEADLINE The date by which parents must notify an accepting school of their commitment to enroll their child.
SAT Formerly the “Scholastic Assessment Test,” (SAT) this standardized test measures the critical thinking, mathematical reasoning, and in a new component, writing skills of students planning to attend college.
SPECIAL NEEDS SCHOOL A school or program for children who have mild-to-moderate learning differences. It usually features smaller class sizes, individualized attention and multi-sensory learning methods.
SSAT The secondary school admissions (SSAT) test that many independent schools require students to take in order to be considered for enrollment.
SUPPLEMENTAL EDUCATIONAL SERVICES Instruction provided to students outside of the regular school day by a state-approved provider selected by the parents of each eligible student.
ED The U. S. Department of Education (ED) is the agency of the federal government that establishes policy for, administers, and coordinates most federal assistance to education. It assists the President in executing his education policies for the nation and in implementing laws enacted by Congress. The Department’s mission is to serve America’s students—to ensure that all have equal access to public education and to promote excellence in our nation’s public schools. ED has responsibility for ensuring that states comply with the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, enacted on January 8, 2002.