Below are acronyms you might hear from time to time in education. No one likes being in the dark on what it all means, so here’s a list of commonly used acronyms and what each means.
AAPPL or ACTFL - Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Languages or American Council of Teachers of Foreign Languages
The ACTFL Assessment of Performance toward Proficiency in Languages (AAPPL) is a web-based proficiency and performance assessment of K-12 standards-based language learning. It assesses tasks across the three modes of communication as defined by the World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages. AAPPL often situates tasks within the context of today’s communication media. For example, test takers perform tasks such as participating in a virtual video chat, creating wikis, and e-mailing to demonstrate language ability. MORE HERE
ADA - Americans with Disabilities Act
The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) in our employment law section, Federal law imposes upon employers certain requirements to avoid discrimination against disabled employees. That same act also applies to the provision of educational services for public schools and some private schools. MORE HERE
ALL - Advanced Learning Lab
The Advanced Learning Lab is a district program offered to some elementary students. The curriculum is built on the Common Core State Standards, with students reading advanced level literature, advancing in mathematics, and going deeper and broader in science and social studies. MORE HERE
AP - Advanced Placement
Advanced Placement is a program in the United States created by the College Board which offers college-level curricula and examinations to high school students. American colleges and universities may grant placement and course credit to students who obtain high scores on the examinations. MORE HERE
APPEL - Alternative Pathway to Professional Educator License
The APPEL is an Educator Preparation Program as defined by the Utah State Board of Education (USBE) Administrative Rules R277-303: Educator Preparation Programs(PDF File). APPEL programs are administered by local school districts, charter schools, or the Board, and prepare individuals to meet the requirements for a Utah professional license or license area of concentration. The State of Utah currently has alternative preparation programs that lead to professional license areas in elementary education, secondary education, career and technical education, special education, and preschool special education. MORE HERE
BIP - Behavior Intervention Plan
A behavior intervention plan is a written improvement plan created for a student based on the outcome of the functional behavior assessment (FBA). The FBA should identify what is maintaining or causing a challenging behavior, and the BIP specifies the actions to take to improve or replace the behavior.
BOY - Beginning of Year
Beginning of Year can be used in different academic contexts and typically signals the beginning of the school year, but has nothing to do with gender. For example, BOY Assessments would be testing or evaluations conducted at the beginning of the academic school year.
BTS - Beverly Taylor Sorenson (Arts Grant)
Beverley Taylor Sorenson was a Utah native, education philanthropist, and advocate for the promotion of arts in elementary schools. MORE HERE
CAT - Computerized Adaptive Testing
Computerized adaptive testing (CAT) is a form of computer-based test that adapts to the examinee's ability level. For this reason, it has also been called tailored testing. In other words, it is a form of computer-administered test in which the next item or set of items selected to be administered depends on the correctness of the test taker's responses to the most recent items administered. MORE HERE
CCR - College and Career Readiness
As defined by the Utah State Department of Education (USBE), "students should have education and career goals that will prepare them to experience fulfilling lives, actively participate as educated citizens, and thrive in a particularly competitive and global marketplace.” MORE HERE
CIP - Continuous Improvement Plan OR Process
A continuous improvement process is a process by which districts and schools: Determine what is working and what needs to change; Establish a process to engage stakeholders to effect change; Leverage effective practices to implement a plan; Use data to monitor and make timely adjustments to improve outcomes.
CTE - Career and Technology Education
Career Technical Education (CTE) provides students of all ages with the academic and technical skills, knowledge and training necessary to succeed in future careers and to become lifelong learners. In total, about 12.5 million high school and college students are enrolled in CTE across the nation. CTE prepares these learners for the world of work by introducing them to workplace competencies and making academic content accessible to students by providing it in a hands-on context. MORE HERE
DIBELS - Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Learning Skills
DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) is a series of short tests that assess K-8 literacy. It is a set of procedures and measures for assessing the acquisition of a set of K-8 literacy skills, such as phonemic awareness, alphabetic principle, accuracy, fluency, and comprehension. MORE HERE
DIP - District Improvement Plan
The District Improvement Plan (DIP) builds upon the foundational principles of the Strategic Plan and expresses goals, objectives, and strategies that, if accomplished, lead to the achievement of the vision. The DIP, in turn, inspires initiatives in individual School Improvement Plans (SIP.)
DLI - Dual Language Immersion
Utah's Dual Language Immersion program offers a rich bilingual experience for young learners when their minds are developmentally best able to acquire a second language. MORE HERE
DLT - District Leadership Team
The District Leadership Team is typically comprised of executive or director level leadership at a school district. They meet periodically to discuss a comprehensive view of the school district, and are interested in the integration of multiple disciplines within the district. For example: Finance, Curriculum, Facilities, Personnel, Public Relations and more.
ELA - English Language Arts
Language arts is the study and improvement of the arts of language. Traditionally, the primary divisions in language arts are literature and language, where language, in this case, refers to both linguistics, and specific languages. MORE HERE
ELL - English Language Learners
EOY - End of Year
End of Year can be used in different academic contexts and typically signals the end of the school year. For example, EOY Assessments would be testing or evaluations conducted at the end of the academic school year.
ESL - English as Second Language
English as a second or foreign language is the use of English by speakers with different native languages. Language education for people learning English may be known as English as a second language, English as a foreign language, English as an additional language, or English for speakers of other languages. MORE HERE
ESSA - Every Student Succeeds Act
The Every Student Succeeds Act is a US law passed in December 2015 that governs the United States K–12 public education policy. The law replaced its predecessor, the No Child Left Behind Act, and modified but did not eliminate provisions relating to the periodic standardized tests given to students. MORE HERE
FAPE - Free Appropriate Public Education
The right to a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) is an educational entitlement of all students in the United States who are identified as having a disability, guaranteed by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). FAPE is a civil right rooted in the Fourteenth Amendment, which requires schools to provide students with disabilities special education and related services, at public expense, designed to prepare those students for the future. The right to FAPE was developed via various statutes as well as case law, and its implementation has evolved over the years. MORE HERE
GT - Gifted and Talented
Utah defines gifted and talented students as students in grades K-8 that the LEA identifies as having an ability that is significantly above the typical ability of a student within the same age group in: general intellectual ability; specific academic fields including: language arts, mathematics, or science; or creative thinking. Gifted and talented services are opportunities with increased depth, complexity, or rigor provided to gifted and talented students. LEAs choose the services provided locally which may include: accommodations in the regular classroom; pull-out programs; advanced classes; varied grouping strategies; enrichment; acceleration; differentiation of curriculum and instruction dual enrollment; magnet schools; academic competitions; or other services. MORE HERE
IDEA - Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is a piece of American legislation that ensures students with a disability are provided with Free Appropriate Public Education that is tailored to their individual needs. IDEA was previously known as the Education for All Handicapped Children Act from 1975 to 1990. MORE HERE
IEP - Individual Education Program
An Individualized Education Plan or program is developed to ensure that a child with an identified disability who is attending an elementary or secondary educational institution receives specialized instruction and related services. The IEP is developed by a team of individuals from various educational disciplines, the child with a disability, family members, and/or designated advocates. MORE HERE
LEA - Local Education Agency
This is a more formal way of describing a School District - Murray City School District is an LEA.
LETRS - Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling
LETRS (Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling) is the most comprehensive and effective course of study to address the five essential components of effective reading instruction in a flexible delivery model, allowing educators to bridge research-based professional development into classroom success.
LMS - Learning Management System
A learning management system is a software application for the administration, documentation, tracking, reporting, automation, and delivery of educational courses, training programs, or learning and development programs. The learning management system concept emerged directly from e-Learning. MORE HERE
MCSD - Murray City School District
MOY - Middle of Year
Middle of Year can be used in different academic contexts and typically signals the end of the school year. For example, MOY Assessments would be testing or evaluations conducted at the end of the academic school year.
NSLP - National School Lunch Program
The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is a federally assisted meal program operating in public and nonprofit private schools and residential child care institutions. It provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches to children each school day. The program was established under the National School Lunch Act, signed by President Harry Truman in 1946. MORE HERE
NUCC - Northern Utah Curriculum Consortium
This is a regional, multi-district group that collaborates on curriculum design and best practices in elementary, secondary, and higher education. It includes representatives from higher education, school districts, content specialists, and other education professionals.
OEK - Optional Extended-day Kindergarten
The Optional Extended-Day Kindergarten program is a grant program that helps cover the cost of full-day
kindergarten for school districts.
PBIS - Positive Behavior Intervention and Support
Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is an evidence-based three-tiered framework to improve and integrate all of the data, systems, and practices affecting student outcomes every day. PBIS creates schools where all students succeed. MORE HERE
PD - Professional Development
Professional development is learning to earn or maintain professional credentials such as academic degrees to formal coursework, attending conferences, and informal learning opportunities situated in practice. It has been described as intensive and collaborative, ideally incorporating an evaluative stage. MORE HERE
PGP - Professional Growth Plan
Professional growth plans (PGPs) are job-embedded, self-directed professional development. With a PGP, teachers, administrators, paraeducators, and ESAs set their own goals, align them to certification standards, design an action plan, and collect evidence documenting growth towards achieving their goals.
PLC - Professional Learning Community
A professional learning community is a method to foster collaborative learning among colleagues within a particular work environment or field. It is often used in schools as a way to organize teachers into working groups of practice-based professional learning. MORE HERE
PTC - Parent Teacher Conference
A parent-teacher conference is a face-to-face meeting between one teacher and one or both parents (or guardians) of a student. It is an opportunity to discuss a student's academic progress and social behavior. Many schools schedule these in both the fall and spring.
PTA - Parent Teacher Association
This organization (and similar organizations PTOs and PTSAs) are formalized groups comprised of parents, teachers, administrators, staff, and in some cases students, who work to keep parents engaged in their student's school learning experience. They often engage in fundraising, activity organization, and information sharing.
RISE - Readiness Improvement Success Empowerment
The RISE assessment is a computer adaptive criterion-referenced assessment system that includes summative tests for English Language Arts (ELAs), Mathematics, Science, and Writing. The summative tests are scheduled to be delivered to the following grades. MORE HERE
RTI - Response to Intervention
Response to Intervention (RTI) is a multi-tier approach to the early identification and support of students with learning and behavior needs. MORE HERE
SCC - School Community Council
Schools participating in the School LAND Trust program are required by Utah Code and Utah State Board of Education (USBE) Rule to have certain items on their individual school website, and to provide notice of meetings on the school website one week before the council meeting is held. The School Children’s Trust section of the USBE has been tasked with reviewing a portion of school websites annually to determine compliance. MORE HERE
SEL - Social Emotional Learning
A methodology that helps students of all ages better comprehend their emotions, to feel those emotions fully, and demonstrate empathy for others. The State of Utah mandates "character education" as part of a school's curriculum. This is accomplished by including a formalized SEL curriculum.
SIP - School Improvement Plan
The School Improvement Plan (SIP) identifies the academic and priority goals along with strategies for each school. School leadership and school leadership teams refine their SIP annually to define their school's targeted work to raise achievement and prepare every student to graduate.
SIS - Student Information System
A student information system, student management system, school administration software or student administration system is a management information system for education sector establishments used to manage student data. It integrates students, parents, teachers and the administration.
SLO - Student Learning Objective
A Student Learning Objective is the implementation of a long-term academic goal or set of goals created by a teacher or group of teachers using data about students and their learning over a defined period of time. SLOs are being used as a component of teacher evaluation in many states.
SMART - Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant/Realistic, Time-specific
S.M.A.R.T. is a mnemonic acronym, giving criteria to guide in the setting of objectives, for example in project management, employee performance management and personal development. The letters S and M generally mean specific and measurable. MORE HERE
SRO - Student Resource Officer
The United States Department of Justice defines School Resource Officers (SROs) as "sworn law enforcement officers responsible for safety and crime prevention in schools." SROs are typically employed by a local police or sheriff's agency and work closely with administrators in an effort to create a safer environment for both students and staff. The responsibilities of SROs are similar to regular police officers in that they have the ability to make arrests, respond to calls for service, and document incidents. SROs typically have additional duties, including mentoring and conducting presentations on youth-related issues. SROs are not synonymous with school based law enforcement (SBLE) officers – which are typically employed by a school district's law enforcement agency, rather than local or city law enforcement – though they are often used interchangeably.
STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math
Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics is a broad term used to group together these academic disciplines. This term is typically used to address an education policy or curriculum choices in schools. It has implications for workforce development, national security concerns and immigration policy. MORE HERE
TSSA - Teacher Student Success Act
The Teacher and Student Success Act (TSSA) provides a framework and funding for schools to improve school performance and student achievement.
UCAT - Utah College of Applied Technology
The Utah System of Technical Colleges was a system of public technical colleges in Utah. It was governed by a board of trustees appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Utah State Senate. In 2020, it was subsumed into the Utah System of Higher Education. MORE HERE
USBE - Utah State Board of Education
The Utah State Board of Education (USBE) is a constitutionally established, elected, non-partisan body that exercises general control and supervision over the public education system in Utah, including establishing the state educational core standards, state educator licensing policies, and state high school graduation requirements. Its 15 members are elected from geographic areas in Utah to four-year terms (Board Members). The State Board meets for a two-day session each month; meetings include study sessions, committee meetings, full board meetings, and meeting separately as the board of the Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind (USDB).
The State Board appoints the State Superintendent of Public Instruction to administer all programs assigned to the Utah State Board of Education in accordance with the policies and standards established. Both the State Board and State Superintendent are responsible for compliance with state and federal laws and administrative rules affecting education and for the distribution of over $4 billion to charter and district schools. MORE HERE
WPU - Weighted Pupil Unit
Weighted pupil unit or "WPU" means the basic per pupil unit used to calculate the amount of state funds for which a school district is eligible. Weighted pupil unit or "WPU" means the basic unit used to calculate the amount of state funds for which an LEA is eligible.