Glossary of Common Terms in Kentucky Education

Glossary of Common Terms in Kentucky Education


ADA (Average Daily Attendance) — the average of a set number of months’ attendance, used to determine funding

Alternative Schools — schools that serve students who are not succeeding in the traditional public school environment due to academic problems, learning disabilities or behavioral problems

Assessment — an exercise–such as a written test, portfolio, or experiment– that seeks to measure a student’s skills or knowledge in a subject area.

At-Risk — a student with socioeconomic challenges that place him or her at a disadvantage in achieving academic, social, or career goals

ARC—Admissions and Release Committee means a group of individuals that is responsible for developing, reviewing, or revising an individual education program for a child with a disability.

Authentic Assessment — an evaluation of what students actually know and understand.

Basic Skills — the traditional building blocks of a curriculum that are most commonly associated with explicit instruction in early elementary language arts and mathematics, including teaching the letters of the alphabet, how to sound out words, spelling, grammar, counting, adding, subtracting and multiplying

Block Scheduling — rearranging time within the six-hour instructional day

CATS (Commonwealth Accountability Testing System) — the state’s assessment and accountability system, mandated by the 1998 General Assembly

Child with a Disability-means a child evaluated in accordance with 707 KAR 1:300, as meeting the criteria listed in this section for autism, deaf-blindness, developmental delay, emotional-behavior disability, hearing impairment, mental disability, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, specific learning disability, speech or language impairment, traumatic brain injury, or visual impairment which has an adverse effect on the child’s educational performance and who, as a result, needs special education and related services.

Continuous Progress — a student’s unique progression through the primary program at his or her own rate without being compared to others in the program and without links to age or number of years in school

Cooperative learning — a method of instruction that encourages students to work in small groups, learning material then presenting what they have learned to other small groups

Core content — content that has been identified as essential for all students to know and that will be included on the state assessment. The content will be used with Kentucky’s Academic Expectations to provide parameters for test developers as they design the assessments, including multiple choices, open response, and both on-demand writing and writing portfolios.

Curriculum — the subject matter that teachers and students cover in class

DD- Developmental delay means that a child within the ages of three (3) through eight (8) has not acquired skills, or achieved commensurate with recognized performance expectatons for his age in one (1) or more of the following developmental areas: congition, communication, motor development, social-emotional development, or self-help/adaptive behavior.  Developmental delay includes a child who demonstrates a measurable verifiable discrepancy between expected performance for the child’s chronological age and current level of performance.  The discrepancy shall be documented by :

(a) Scores of two (2) standard deviations or more below the mean in one (1) of the areas listed above as obtained using norm-referenced instruments and procedures; or

(b) Scores of one and one-half (1 1/2) standard deviations below the mean in two (2) or more of the areas listed above using norm-referenced instruments and procedures; or

(c) The professional judgment of the ARC that there is a significant atypical quality or pattern of development. Professional judgment shall be used only where normed scores are inconclusive and the ARC documents in a written report the reasons for concluding that a child has a developmental delay.


Distance learning — the use of telecommunications technologies, including satellites, telephones and cable-television systems, to broadcast instruction from one central site to one or more remote locations

Enrichment programs — programs intended to supplement the regular academic curriculum for students who might otherwise be bored with their class work

ESS (Extended School Services) — programs providing additional instruction and support through longer days, weeks or years for students who are at risk of not meeting academic expectations

EPSDT—Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment

FAPE—Free Appropriate Public Education

FRYSC (Family Resource/Youth Services Centers) — centers established in or near schools where at least 2-0 percent of students qualify for free or reduced-price meals. Family resource centers serve elementary schools; youth services centers serve middle and high schools. Centers provide resources and referrals for students and families.

High Schools That Work — a cooperative effort with the Southern Regional Education Board that integrates challenging academic courses and modern vocational studies to raise the achievement levels of career-bound high school students

Highly Skilled Educators (HSE) — a voluntary assistance program that is part of the new Commonwealth Accountability Testing System (CATS). The HSEs are teachers, administrators and other certified staff who support improved teaching and learning; help school staffs align curriculum with core content, the new assessment, best practices and national standards; advise school staffs on techniques to meet the CATS improvement goals; advise school staffs on developing, implementing and monitoring the school improvement plan and expenditure of monies from the Commonwealth School Improvement Fund; and build capacity among school staffs.

Inclusion — the practice — sometimes called “full inclusion” — of educating children with disabilities alongside their non- disabled peers, often in a regular classroom. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that disabled children be educated in the “least restrictive environment” possible.

IDEA—Individual’s with Disabilities Education Act—1977

IEP—Individualized Education Plan

KERA (Kentucky Education Reform Act) — the systemic overhaul of the state’s K-12 public education system, passed in 1990

KETS (Kentucky Education Technology System) — the statewide technology network that links schools, districts, government agencies, state libraries, the Internet and other resources

KIRIS (Kentucky Instructional Results Information System) — the statewide assessment and accountability system from 1990—1999.

LEA—Local Education Agency

“Local educational agency (LEA)” means a public local board of education or other legally constituted public authority that has either administrative control or direction of public elementary or secondary schools in a school district or other political subdivision of the Commonwealth. LEA also means any other public institution or agency, including the Kentucky School for the Blind (KSB) and the Kentucky School for the Deaf (KSD), that is charged by state statute with the responsibility of providing educational services to children with disabilities.

LRE—Lease Restrict Environment

Magnet Schools — schools that place special emphasis on academic achievement or on a particular field such as science, designed to attract students from elsewhere in the school district

Matrix — the surrounding environment

Migrant Education — education programs established mainly to meet the needs of children of farm laborers, who often face such challenges as poverty, poor health care and the readjustments of moving often from school to school

Multi-age/multi-ability grouping — grouping children who have been in school different numbers of years in the same classroom

Multicultural education — interdisciplinary, cross-curricular education that prepares students to live and work in a diverse world

Non-cognitive data — data used in the statewide assessments that is not academic, including attendance, retention, dropout and successful transition to adult life rates

OEA (Office of Education Accountability) — an office in the Legislative Research Commission that monitors school reform

Performance-based assessment — requires students to perform hands-on tasks, such as writing an essay or conducting a science experiment

Performance levels — the four levels at which students may perform (novice, apprentice, proficient and distinguished)

Portfolio — a collection of a student’s best work throughout his or her school years that is included in the scoring of the statewide assessments

RSC (Regional Service Center) — eight centers in the state’s various regions that serve as resources for teachers and administrators. Each is staffed by subject-area consultants who may travel to schools to assist staff.

Rubric — a model

School-based decision making — a system of governance at each school composed of the principal, three teachers and two parents who make decisions regarding the day-to-day running of the school, including calendars, instructional materials, hiring of the principal, extracurricular programs and other items

School-to-Work — a system of school-based learning, work-based learning and connecting activities that is created by partnerships between education, employers, government and economic development agencies

SEEK (Support Education Excellence in Kentucky) — the state’s school funding program, which provides money to schools through state and local taxes

Service learning — programs that incorporate citizenship values into education by requiring students to perform community service

Special education—means specialy designed instruction, at no cost to the parents, to meet the unique needsof thechild with a disability including instruction in the classroom, in thehome, in hospitals and institutions, and in other settings.  Special education means speech-language pathology services, (if the service is considered special education rather than a related service), travel training, and vocational education.

Specially designed instruction—means adaption as appropriate the content, methodology, or delivery of instruction to address the unique needs of the child with a disability and to ensure access of the child to the general curriculum included in the Program of Studies, 704 KAR 3:303.

Standards — subject-matter benchmarks to measure students’ academic achievement

Title I — the nation’s largest federal education program, which serves remedial education programs to poor and disadvantaged children in nearly every school district in the country. Title I was formerly known as “Chapter 1.”

Title IX — bars gender discrimination in education facilities that receive federal funds

Title VII — a federal program to make limited-English-proficient students proficient in the English language

Year-round scheduling — also known as alternative calendar scheduling, this program rearranges the traditional school calendar to provide college-semester-like breaks every nine weeks of school. Students do not actually attend school for more days than in a traditional calendar.

Glossary of Common Terms In Kentucky Education – Download [Optimized PDF]

Glossary of Common Terms In Kentucky Education – Download

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