• Academic Acronyms


    1:1 (One to One): One laptop or device for each student in a class or school.

    504 PLAN: A plan for services, accommodations, and access for a student with a disability. A 504 plan is different from an IEP, which qualifies a student for special education services (See IEP term.)

    ACT: American College Test. An assessment taken by students as a precursor to college/university admission.

    AP: Advanced Placement. A program that enables high school students to complete college-level courses for college placement and/or credit.

    BOG3: Beginning of Grade 3. Test taken in English language arts/reading by third-grade students starting on the 11th day of the school year and continuing through the 15th day.

    CHARTER SCHOOLS:  Publicly funded schools that are exempt from many state laws and school district regulations. Charter schools are privately managed by groups of teachers, parents and/or foundations.

    CTE: Career and Technical Education. CTE provides high school students the opportunity to take courses in eight program areas so that they can explore interests and careers while building and strengthening their career-specific knowledge and skills.

    DIFFERENTIATED INSTRUCTION: The adjustment and adaption of instructional methodology, programs, and materials to address individual students’ learning styles, ability levels, and developmental needs.

    DOE: Department of Education, a federal agency that oversees education in the U.S.

    DPI: Department of Public Instruction, a state agency that oversees education in the state of North Carolina.

    EC: Exceptional Children, a designation used for students with developmental, learning or other disabilities.

    ECATS: Exceptional Children Accountability Tracking System. A secure web-based student information system for exceptional children that supports online case management, compliance monitoring, data analysis, and federal and state reporting requirements.

    EL: An individual whose native language is a language other than English or who comes from an environment where a language other than English has had a significant impact on the individual's level of English language proficiency.

    ELA: English Language Arts. Part of the Common Core curriculum in the NC Standard Course of Study, ELA refers to reading, literature, reading, writing, and speaking and listening.

    EOC: End-of-Course tests. These are state tests given each year in 10 subjects to determine if students have mastered the material in each course. Given in high schools and to some middle school students studying at advanced levels.

    EOG: End-of-Grade tests. These are given to students in grades three through eight to determine if the students have mastered the required knowledge for each grade.

    ESEA: Elementary and Secondary Education Act. This is the principal federal law affecting K-12 education with its longstanding commitment to equal opportunity for all students. The ESEA of 1965 was later amended and reauthorized by the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001. In December of 2015, the ESEA was again amended and reauthorized by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

    ESL: English as a Second Language, a teaching program used for students whose native language is not English. Also used to describe students in the program.

    ESSA: Every Student Succeeds Act. This is the name of the latest reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. See ESEA above. The ESSA was signed into law in 2015 and requires each state to create a plan to meet the components of the law.

    EVAAS: Education Value-Added Assessment System. EVAAS tools provide a precise measurement of student progress over time and reliable diagnosis of opportunities for growth that help to identify which students are at risk for under-achievement.

    FRL: Free and Reduced-price Lunch. Children qualify, based upon family financial status, to receive either free or reduced-price lunch through a federal program.

    GPA: Grade point average.

    GROWTH MINDSET: A mindset that sees life as a series of learning and development experiences. Someone with a growth mindset is unafraid to try new challenges; maintains self-confidence even when it takes multiple tries to yield results; and regards learning as a lifelong process.

    IB: The International Baccalaureate Program, the most challenging curriculum offered in the United States. IB students are required to take college-level English, math and world-language courses before completing the program.

    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.

    IEP: Individualized Education Program. An IEP is a written statement for a student with a disability. A team of professionals knowledgeable about the student and the parents develops the IEP collaboratively. It is designed to help the student take part and progress in the general curriculum. The IEP outlines the special education supports and services for the student.

    LEA: Local Education Agency. 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 Proficiency, used to describe students who have not yet fully mastered the English language.

    MTSS: Multi-Tiered System of Support. A multi-tiered framework that promotes school improvement through engaging, research-based academic and behavioral practices. NC MTSS employs a systems approach using data-driven problem solving to maximize growth for all.

    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 to promote effective leadership, quality teaching, and student learning while enhancing professional practice that leads to improved instruction.

    NCEXTEND1: The North Carolina EXTEND1 is an alternate assessment designed to measure the performance of students with significant cognitive disabilities using alternate achievement standards.

    NCFEs: The North Carolina Final Exams. NCFEs are considered standardized artifacts reflective of student growth for participants in the teacher-evaluation process.

    NCSCOS: North Carolina Standard Course of Study. This is the state-mandated curriculum that every student in the state must be taught.

    PBIS: Positive Behavior Intervention and Support. Positive Behavior Intervention and Support programs are a way to impact school learning environments by establishing and reinforcing clear behavioral expectations to support high student performance and to reduce behavioral problems. PBIS site schools work to integrate their Safe Schools Plans, character education efforts and strategies, and discipline efforts to make the schools caring and safe communities for learning.

    PD: Professional Development. The term refers to skills and knowledge attained for both personal development and career advancement such as continuous courses, workshops, activities and learning objectives aimed at helping professional educators and staff members improve their skills in their fields.

    PLC: Professional Learning Communities. Collaborative inquiry, shared decision-making, and joint planning of instruction among teachers define PLCs. Teachers are provided structured time to work together in planning instruction, observing each other's classrooms, and sharing feedback.

    PROJECT-BASED LEARNING: Learning by doing, or participating in active projects that build creativity and thinking skills.

    PSAT: Pre-Scholastic Assessment Test. Normally taken by high school juniors as a practice test for the SAT. Some schools use the PSAT as a diagnostic tool to identify areas where students may need additional assistance or placement in more rigorous courses.

    PTA/PTO: Parent-Teacher Association/Parent Teacher Organization. These parent groups organize at each school to help parents stay involved in children's education.

    RIGOR: Designing class materials with a focus on making it appropriately challenging for each student. Different from simple high standards in that it emphasizes individual abilities and needs.

    RtA: Read to Achieve. NC state law requires districts to ensure every student reads at or above grade level by the end of third grade and progresses in reading proficiency so that he or she can read, comprehend, integrate, and apply complex texts needed for secondary education and career success.

    SAT: Scholastic Aptitude Tests. These national tests are taken by juniors and seniors in high school and are used by many colleges to assess whether a student is ready for college-level study.

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

    SEA: State Education Agency. Federal term for each state education department, including North Carolina's DPI.

    SIFE: Students with Interrupted Formal Education, a designation used for immigrant students who may have been unable to attend schools in their home countries because of political unrest, poverty, or other circumstances.

    SIP: School Improvement Plan. 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.

    SLC: [North Carolina] Student Learning Conditions [Survey]. This survey provides middle and high school students with the opportunity to express their perceptions regarding the learning environment in their schools. Similar to the NC Teacher Working Conditions Survey, student responses will be utilized for school and district improvement efforts.

    SLT: School Leadership Team, a school-based team composed of parents and staff. The teams meet at least once a month and determine the structure for school-based planning and shared decision-making.

    SOCIAL-EMOTIONAL LEARNING: Learning to manage one’s own emotions, relative effectively to others, and make responsible decisions.

    SPG: School Performance Grades. A-F letter grades are calculated using achievement, growth, and performance measures.

    STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. STEM curriculum emphasizes connections within and between the fields of mathematics and science; integrates technology; introduces and engages students in the engineering design process; cultivates creativity, and develops skills that drive innovation.

    Title I: Title I is the largest federal educational-funding program for schools. It aims 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.

    Title III: Title III is the section of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that provides funding and addresses English language acquisition and standards and accountability requirements for English learners.

    Title IX: Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 bans sex discrimination in academics and athletics at schools receiving federal funds.

    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.

    WIDA: World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment. The WIDA Consortium is an educational consortium of state departments of education that supports academic language development for students who are English Learners. The WIDA suite of assessments is what North Carolina uses to assess and monitor English language proficiency.

    Source: The Office of School Relations compiled this information based primarily on information available through the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.