Educational Acronyms

The following page is used as a reference for families. 

Common Acronyms


American College Test. An assessment taken by students as a precursor to college/university admission.


Advanced Placement. A program that enables high school students to complete college-level courses for college placement and/or credit.


Board of Education- the governing body that creates policy for school districts


Colonie Academy which is the umbrella program for Alternative Education programs


Committee on Special Education or Committee on Preschool Special Education. The committee is tasked with developing a child’s IEP.


Curriculum Review Board that oversees professional development proposals for the district


Career and Technical Education. CTE provides high school students the opportunity to take courses in eight program areas so that they can explore interests and careers while building and strengthening their career-specific knowledge and skills. The eight education program areas are: Agricultural; Business, Finance and Information Technology; Career Development; Family and Consumer Sciences; Health Science; Marketing and Entrepreneurship; Technology Engineering and Design; and Trade and Industrial.


Cooperative Virtual Learning Academy. Regional program at both the K-6 and 7-12 levels. South Colonie teachers are involved in the instructional program for over 24 regional schools.


District Office, or Central Administration building and staff


An individual whose native language is a language other than English or who comes from an environment where a language other than English has had a significant impact on the individual’s level of English language proficiency and who requires a specialized language support program to participate fully in the curriculum and state-wide assessment program.


English Language Arts. Part of the Common Core curriculum in the NC Standard Course of Study, ELA refers to reading, literature, reading, writing and speaking and listening.


Elementary and Secondary Education Act. This is the principal federal law affecting K-12 education with its longstanding commitment to equal opportunity for all students. The ESEA of 1965 was later amended and reauthorized by the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001. In December of 2015, the ESEA was again amended and reauthorized by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).


Employee Retirement System (NYS for Support Staff)

The New York State and Local Retirement System (NYSLRS) offers services for the public members, retirees and employers of New York State.

ESL – now often referred to as ENL

English as a Second Language or English as a New Language. A program model that delivers specialized instruction to students who are learning English as a new language.


Every Student Succeeds Act. This is the name of the latest reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. See ESEA above. The ESSA was signed into law in 2015 and requires each state to create a plan to meet the components of the law.


Extended School Year- special needs program for students who require a summer programming to meet their IEP needs.


Free and Reduced Priced Lunch. Children qualify, based upon parent or guardian financial status, to receive either free or reduced-priced lunch through a federal governmental program.


Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. This federal law, reauthorized in 2004, is designed to ensure that all children with disabilities have available to them a free and appropriate public education that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment and independent living.


Individualized Education Program. The IEP is a written statement for a student with a disability that is developed, at least annually, by a team of professionals knowledgeable about the student and the parent. The plan describes the strengths of the child and the concerns of the parents for enhancing the education of their child, and when, where, and how often services will be provided. The IEP is required by federal law for all exceptional children and must include specific information about how the student will be served and what goals he or she should be meeting.


Local Education Agency. Synonymous with a local school system or a local school district, indicating that a public board of education or other public authority maintains administrative control of the public schools in a city or county.


A software application that is used to administer, document, track, report and deliver educational courses or training programs. For South Colonie, an example would be Google Classroom or iREADY
Learning Management System. 


Sometimes shortened to SED. New York State Education Department.


New York State United Teachers. NYSUT represents more than 600000 teachers, school-related professionals, academic and professional faculty in higher education, professionals in K-12 education and healthcare facilities


Positive Behavior Intervention and Support. Positive Behavior Intervention and Support programs are a way to impact school learning environments by establishing and reinforcing clear behavioral expectations to support high student performance and to reduce behavioral problems. PBIS site schools work to integrate their Safe Schools Plans, character education efforts and strategies, and discipline efforts to make the schools caring and safe communities for learning.


Professional Development. The term refers to skills and knowledge attained for both personal development and career advancement such as continuous courses, workshops, activities and learning objectives aimed at helping professional educators and staff members improve their skills in their fields.


Professional Learning Communities. PLCs are defined by collaborative inquiry, shared decision-making and joint planning of instruction among teachers. Teachers are provided structured time to work together in planning instruction, observing each other’s classrooms, and sharing feedback.


Pre-Scholastic Assessment Test. Normally taken by high school juniors as a practice test for the SAT. Some schools use the PSAT as a diagnostic tool to identify areas where students may need additional assistance or placement in more rigorous courses.


Response to Intervention (RTI) is a multi-tier approach to the early identification and support of students with learning and behavior needs.


The SAT is often taken by high school juniors and seniors as a precursor to college/university admission. It assesses a student’s verbal, mathematical and writing skills.


Social and emotional learning (SEL) is an integral part of education and human development. SEL is the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions.


School Improvement Plan. A plan that includes strategies for improving student performance, how and when improvements will be implemented, use of state funds, requests for waivers, etc. Plans are in effect for no more than three years.


For South Colonie this is ASPEN. Student Information System. SIS is a software application educational institutions use to manage student data such as enrollment. Sometimes called a student information management system.


6:1:2 is an example of a special classroom with a maximum of 6 students, 1 teacher and 2 support staff (TA/Monitor).

Special class means a class consisting of students with disabilities who have been grouped together because of similarity of individual needs for the purpose of receiving specially designed instruction in a self-contained setting, meaning that such students are receiving their primary instruction separate from their nondisabled peers.


Sometimes STEAM by adding Art. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. STEM curriculum emphasizes connections within and between the fields of mathematics and science; integrates technology; introduces and engages students in the engineering design process; cultivates creativity; and develops skills that drive innovation.


Teacher Improvement Plan for a teacher who is underperforming or not meeting the district expectations.

Title I

Title I is the largest federal education funding program for schools. Its aim is to help students who are behind academically or at risk of falling behind. School funding is based on the number of low-income children, generally those eligible for the free and reduced-price lunch program. Title I used to be known as Chapter I.

Title IX

Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 bans sex discrimination in schools receiving federal funds, whether it is in academics or athletics.


New York State Teachers’ Retirement System. The NY State retirement system for certified instructional staff (teachers, TA’s, administration)