• Glossary of Terms and Acronyms

    The terminology used in special services can often be confusing. The following is a partial list of terms members of student support teams are likely to encounter.  An extensive list of terms can be found at the following link: http://ici2.umn.edu/elink/general/glossary_pop.html
    Accommodations - "curriculum, material or programmatic adaptations, behavior management interventions, and supplemental aids and services...necessary for an eligible student to benefit from regular education..."
    Adverse Effect - Documented academic performance in the lowest 15th percentile in three out of six areas of classroom measures or standardized assessments in one basic skill.
    Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) - A developmental disability which significantly affects verbal and non-verbal communication and social interaction.
    Comprehensive Evaluation - A complete evaluation of a student to determine areas that negatively impact learning. Areas of assessment may include, but are not limited to, cognitive abilities, academic achievement, emotional/behavioral functioning, speech and language skills, adaptive behaviors.
    Confidentiality - Neither the student's records nor information about the student shall be disclosed to anyone who is not an education official unless the parent gives consent for sharing those records. "Records" includes any written information about the student that may be included in their file such as, test records, progress reports, behavior plans, etc.
    Due Process - A hearing initieated by a parent, guardian, or responsible agency regarding the identification, evaluation, placement of the student in a special education program, or the provision of a free appropriate public education.
    Educational Support System (ESS) - An educational initiative authorized by the Vermont Legislature which allows services and accommodations for non-identified students in need of academic or behavioral supports.
    Educational Support Team (EST) - A team of teachers and guidance counselors led by an administrator that develops and monitors plans of support for students in need of academic and behavioral supports.
    Eligibility - A student is eligible for Special Education services if there is a) a disability, b) adverse effect, and c) a need for services outside the regular program of supports for students in the regular education environment.
    Emotional/Behavioral Disability - A disability determined by a licensed practitioner that includes one or more of the following characteristics: an inability to learn unexplained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors; inability to build or maintain satisfactory relationships with peers and teachers; inappropriate behavior or feelings under normal circumstances; pervasive mood of unhappiness  or depression; physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.
    Evaluation and Planning Team (EPT) - The team, consisting of parents, student, teachers, special educator, psychologists, and therapists to consider eligibility and develop recommendations for special education.
    Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) - Term used to mean special education and related services that are provided through an IEP and at no cost to the parents.
    Goals - Statements in the IEP that describe what a student with a disability can reasonably be expected to accomplish within a twelve month period.
    Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) - PL 94-142 passed by congress in 1973 that entitles students with disabilities to free and appropriate public education.
    Individualized Education Program (IEP) - a plan of services and accommodations reviewed annually that contains a student's current levels of academic performance, goals, and short-term objectives or benchmarks.
    Informed Consent - The parent or majority age student must be informed of all the information relevant to an activity such as evaluations and educational placement.
    Learning Impairment - A delay in learning that causes a student's performance to fall at or below -1.5 standard deviations in basic skills or aptitude (78 standard score or lower on an IQ test) with concurrent deficits in adaptive behavior (life skills).
    Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) - Eligible students must be educated "to the maximum extent appropriate with their non-disabled chronological age peers in the schools they would attend if they did not have a disability."
    Objectives - Measurable intermediate steps between present levels of educational performance and the annual goal in the IEP.
    Other Health Impairment (OHI) - A chronic or acute health condition severe enough to limit a student's strength, vitality or alterness. ADD/ADHD fits in this category.
    Parents' Rights - An explanation of procedural safeguards provided to parents and guardians at five points in the special education identification and service provision process: at the initial evaluation, with notification of the IEP annual review, with reevaluation notice, when requesting a due process complaint, and when the decision is made for disciplinary suspension.
    Reevaluation - An evaluation required by law every three years to determine continued eligibility for special education.
    Section 504 - Provides services and accommodations to individuals who have a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities.
    Specific Learning Disability (SLD) - A disability of a perceptual, conceptual, or coordinative nature in one of the following areas: oral expression, listening comprehension, written expression, basic reading skills, reading comprehension, math calculation, math reasoning, or reading fluency.
    Speech/Language Impairment - Significan deficits in listening comprehension or oral expression defined as 2.0 standard deviations from the test mean. May be determined by a speech/language pathologist (SLP).
    Transition Plan - Beginning at age 16 the IEP team must consider assessments, goals, and objectives needed to address the areas of post-secondary employment, education, independent living, and community participation.