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Glossary of Acronyms and Frequently Used Terms

Acronyms and terms that appear in the Visitor's Guide to High Performing Elementary Schools.

Advanced:  See CST.

API : Academic Performance Index. Measures the academic performance and growth of schools in a variety of academic measures. Expected annual percentage growth targets for all schools based on their API baseline score are calculated with a minimum percentage growth target of 5% annually.  The API is part of the state accountability system enacted by the California State Legislature in 1999.

AYP: Adequate Yearly Progress. Adequate yearly progress is the measure of the extent to which students in a school, taken as a whole, and certain groups within the school, demonstrate proficiency in at least reading/language arts and mathematics. It also measures the progress of schools under other academic indicators, such as the graduation rate or school attendance. The federal No Child Left Behind Act requires each state to ensure that all schools and districts make adequate yearly progress based on assessments included in the statewide accountability system. State definitions must reflect the objective that all students will demonstrate proficiency by the year 2014.

Basic: See CST.

Below Basic: See CST.

Benchmark Assessment/Assignment: A common grade-level standardized administration of an assessment/assignment that provides comparable results for all students and objectively measures progress relative to standards for making decisions about individual students.

CAPA: California Alternate Performance Assessment. A component of STAR, CAPA is administered to students with significant cognitive disabilities in grades two through eleven.

CAT/6: California Achievement Tests, Sixth Edition Survey. CAT/6 is a national norm-referenced test administered to students in grades three and seven.

CELDT: California English Language Development Test. CELDT is a mandatory state test for English language proficiency that is given to students whose primary language is other than English.

CLAD, BCLAD: Cross-Cultural Language and Academic Development and Bilingual Cross-Cultural Language and Academic Development.

CST: California Standards Tests. CSTs measure the degree to which students are achieving the academically rigorous content standards adopted by the State Board of Education. California uses five performance levels to report student achievement on the CSTs:

The performance levels for each grade and subject area are based on scale scores that range between 150 and 600. The score dividing the basic scores from below basic is 300 for every grade and subject area. The score dividing basic scores from proficient scores is 350 for every grade and subject area. Tables that include the score range for each grade level, subject area, and performance level are available on the California Department of Education Web site. The target is for all California students to score at Proficient or above.

Differentiated Instruction: An approach to teaching in which instruction is tailored to meet the needs of individual students. Such instruction is designed to provide each student with access to a rigorous, standards-based curriculum. Instructional decisions are based on the results of meaningful assessments. Differentiated instruction provides various ways for individual students to receive new information, assimilate it, and demonstrate their knowledge.

Economically Disadvantaged: Refers to individuals from economically disadvantaged families, including foster children.

EL: English learner. A student for whom a primary language other than English has been indicated on the state-approved "Home Language Survey" and who, based on the results of the California English Language Development Test (CELDT), has been determined to lack the clearly defined English language skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing necessary to succeed in the school's regular instructional programs.

ELA: English–language arts

ELD: English Language Development

Far Below Basic: See CST.

FEP: Fluent English Proficient. A student in kindergarten through grade 12 for whom a language other than English is reported on the Home Language Survey and who, upon assessment on the CELDT and from additional information (when available) is determined to be fluent in English. To be categorized as FEP, a student must have at least some functional proficiency (e.g., some basic comprehension skills) in a language other than English.

GATE: Gifted and Talented Education. A state program authorizing services to students who are identified as possessing demonstrated or potential abilities that give evidence of high performance capability.

IEP: Individual Education Program. The written instruction plan for students with disabilities designated as special education students under the Individuals With Disabilities Act (IDEA-Part B), which includes: statement of present levels of educational performance of a child; statement of annual goals, including short-term instructional objectives; statement of specific educational services to be provided and the extent to which the child will be able to participate in regular educational programs; projected date for initiation and anticipated duration of services; appropriate objectives, criteria and evaluation procedures; and schedules for determining, on at least an annual basis, whether instructional objectives are being achieved.

Proficient: See CST.

PTA: Parent Teacher Association. A volunteer group of parents and teachers that works to promote the education and well-being of all children and youth at home, in school and in the community. Many schools have a Parent Club instead of a formal PTA.

RSP: Resource Specialist Program. RSP is a placement setting that provides instruction and services for those students whose needs have been identified in an IEP (individualized education program) and are assigned to regular classroom teachers for most of a school day.

SBE: State Board of Education

SDAIE: Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English. SDAIE is an approach utilized to teach academic courses to English learner (EL) students in English. It is designed for non-native speakers of English and focuses on increasing the comprehensibility of the academic courses normally provided to FEP and English-only students in the district.

SIP: School Improvement Program. SIP funds are provided by the state to qualifying schools (7-12 and K-6) to carry out a plan developed by a school site council.

STAR: Standardized Testing and Reporting. California's chosen method of student evaluation and accountability. The 2006 STAR program included the following four components: CSTs, CAPA, CAT/6, and Aprenda 3.

SST: Student Success Team. A team of school staff members often composed of the principal, school psychologist, teachers, and resource specialists whose task is to find solutions to identified problems that students are facing.

Visitor's Guide to High Performing Elementary Schools

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