Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Alphabet Soup

We started school just a week ago, and I've already heard questions and confusion from many new teachers trying to decipher and figure out the many acronyms that we use in education, literacy, our district, and our school.  While this is a bit of a broader post than solely literacy tonight, I thought I would try to debunk some of the acronyms that we use and throw around on a normal basis.

  • RtI-  Response to Intervention-  In short, this is legislation put into place to support students in reading and behavior. All students are benchmarked and provided instruction based on best practice.  RtI is a 3-tier ladder to help all students succeed in a general education environment with explicit instruction.  A student's progress progress is closely monitored to work toward minimizing gaps in learning.  The fingers of RtI have spread outside of reading and behavior in many schools.  
  • RtIm-  Response to Intervention Management-  This is an online system used to track interventions and progress monitoring for students in RtI.  
  • SRBI-  Scientifically Research Based Intervention-  In Connecticut, we like to spice things up a bit.  SRBI is RtI with a flair.  CT's SRBI law mandates that interventions show signs of "scientifically research based interventions".  
  • CST (or sometimes SST)-  Child Study Team (or Student Support Team)-  This is a group of educators that come together to review data, discuss interventions, share successes and needs for improvement, and create next steps to support students.  
  • IEP-  Individualized Education Plan-  This is the document created by a core group of educators at a PPT (Planning and Placement Team) for students who require specialized instruction through Special Education.  This is a legally binding document that identifies measurable student goals, accommodations, and modifications to support students in the modified or general education curriculum.  
  • 504 Plan-  This is an education plan to support a student with a life-altering condition and prevents discrimination for students with special needs.  The plan, created by a team of educators and student supporters, details the accommodations necessary to help the child succeed in the general education curriculum.  This is also a legally binding document reviewed annually.
  • TEAM-  Teacher Education and Mentoring Program-  This is the mentor/teacher program put into place for new teachers in the state of Connecticut.  
  • ESL (English as a Second Language) or ELL- English Language Learners-  These are students who have learned English as a second language and may need support to access the general education curriculum.  
  • SSP-  Student Success Plan-  This is a document that outlines a personalized learning plan for students including their long and short term goals.  This is often paired with Advisory in new Connecticut legislation.  
  • PLC-  Professional Learning Communities-  In an effort to improve instruction, policy, and practice, PLC's are committees consisting of professional peers that meet to improve student learning.  
  • CMT's-  Connecticut Mastery Tests-  Through 2013, students in Connecticut complete standardized assessments in reading, math, writing, and science in grades three through eight.  The tests are administered in March. 
  • PBA's-  Performance Based Assessments-  (sometimes called Authentic Performance Tasks)-  These are tasks or assessments that measure learning in an authentic, rigorous, performance based way. The new national assessments will include a PBA for all students to demonstrate their learning of the CCSS.  
  • CCSS-  Common Core State Standards-  These are the standards that all educators use to inform instruction in kindergarten through twelfth grade to address reading, writing, speaking, listening, and math.  The CCSS is designed to spiral concepts and skills through the grades to scaffold instruction and create CCR (College and Career Ready) adults.  
  • NWEA-  NorthWest Evaluation Association-  An evaluation used for benchmarking students, this assessment is computer adaptive.  Students receive a Lexile (readability) score and a RIT score, which compares their scores to students within their peer group locally and nationally.  Our students complete this assessment in the areas of Reading, Language Usage, and Mathematics.  
  • WPP-  Writing Practice Program-  This is an online writing practice program created by ERB (Educational Records Bureau) and MI (Measurement Incorporated) designed to give students timely feedback to help improve their writing skills.  
There are many, many more, but this puts a dent into the big ones that are frequently used in our school.  Phew. That's a mouthful.  Hope this helps!  :)

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