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Educational Terms Glossary

Unfamiliar with the terms your child's teacher throws around? You're not alone. There's lots of school jargon that can confuse even the most informed parent or guardian. Here's our glossary of some of the most common.

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Advanced Placement (AP) Exams

A College Board-sponsored exam designed to evaluate high school students in corresponding Advanced Placement courses. If a student receives a score of 3 or higher (the test is on a 1 to 5 scale), he or she may earn college credit.

Application School

Detroit Public Schools have 21 schools that require an application for enrollment. The schools range from high-achieving elementary schools to specialty programs. Parents should be sure to ask if a school is an application school or an open-enrollment school. Any school considered an open-enrollment school cannot administer tests to students as a pre-enrollment requirement. Private schools can test for enrollment purposes.

ACT

This test is a multiple choice-style, national college admissions exam. Students are tested in English, math, reading, science – and writing depending on the exam needed. Students receive scores up to 36.

Assertive Discipline/Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP)

A program in which a plan of positive behavioral intervention is laid out for a child whose actions disrupt the learning of himself or other children.

Assistive Technology

Equipment that helps kids with special needs learn, grow and conquer their limitations in the classroom, and ranging from versatile button switches to whiteboards to spell checkers.

Block Scheduling

A type of class schedule in which students have fewer, but longer classes per day. For example, instead of having six classes in a day, students might have three or four longer periods.

Blue Ribbon School

Established in 1982, the Michigan Blue Ribbon Exemplary School Program recognized schools that demonstrate a strong commitment to educational excellence and significant academic improvement over five years. In 2009, the program was terminated due to state funding issues. However, schools that were awarded the Blue Ribbon still bear that distinction.

Career and Technical Centers

These are schools that focus on teaching students about vocational trades, such as automotive repair, carpentry or culinary arts, for example.

Certificate of Completion (CoC)

A certificate given to students who finish high school and who had Individual Education Plans (IEPs) or were on an alternative curriculum route. A CoC is not a high school diploma, which is awarded to those who have met the Michigan Merit Curriculum requirements for graduation.

Certified

Staff members or administrators possess a state and/or national teaching certificate, statement, professional recognition or license in a given area.

Charter Schools

Tax-supported schools established by a charter between a granting body (such as a school board) and an outside group (such as teachers and parents), which operates the school without most local and state educational regulations so as to achieve set goals.

Children and Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder (CHADD)

Children with ADHD are eligible for special education services or accommodations within the regular classroom when needed, and adults with ADHD may be eligible for accommodations in the workplace under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Common Core

A national educational initiative that details proficiency for K-12 students in core subjects by the end of each grade. The goal is to establish consistent educational standards across all states.

Cooperative Education Program

A program that results from a written, voluntary agreement between two or more local districts to provide educational programs for pupils.

Coordinated Early Intervening Services (CEIS)

A pediatrician and/or early learning and care program may refer a child for CEIS within a local school district if there are concerns the child may need some type of educational services upon entering preschool or kindergarten.

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