Common terms and language you may hear during conversations about your child's special education services may include:
Accommodation – allows the student to do the same work as the regular education students with a change (i.e. taking tests in a quiet room). This change does not change the rigor of the material being taught.
Adaptations – word used interchangeable with accommodation.
Assistive Technology Device – any item, piece of equipment or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of children with disabilities (can be low or high tech).
Assistive Technology Service – any service that directly assists a student in the selection, acquisition or use of an assistive technology device.
Behavior Intervention Plan – a plan to address challenging behaviors; it addresses both the source of the behavior and ways to deal with the behavior so the student can make positive changes.
Case Manager – the person who coordinates a student’s IEP and sees that it is carried out. This person is the first point of contact for any issues or concerns that you may have.
Child Study Team – team that determines if an evaluation is warranted.
Consent – means that you say “yes.” Consent means that you understand and agree in writing to the activity that is being requested, such as an evaluation or an IEP.
Direct Service – specialized service provided directly to the student from the professional to work on goals and objectives.
Evaluation – testing and observations used to determine the eligibility of the student for special education services.
IEP (Individualized Education Program) – an educational service program for a student age 3 up to 21. Services need to begin within 30 calendar days from the date the student is found eligible.
IEP Team – the group of people responsible for defining a student’s educational program. The Team must include: • Parent(s) • A representative of the district who is authorized to assign resources, known as the Administrative Designee • At least one of the student’s special education teachers. • At least one of the student’s general education teachers. • Student, if appropriate o There may be more team members as appropriate.
IFSP (Individual Family Service Program) - a program for children in Early Childhood Special Education (birth through age 2). The development of the IFSP should be completed within 45 calendar days from the initial referral. Indirect Service – professional staff that consult with team members on services, modifications, adaptation, and any issues related to the IEP goals/objectives.
LRE (Least Restrictive Environment) – the educational setting appropriate to meet the individual student's needs that provides the opportunity to be educated with non-disabled peers, to the greatest extent appropriate.
Modification – a change that lowers the rigor of the material and changes what a test or assignment measures.
PAC (Parent Advisory Council)- acts as an advisory body to the district through Special Services Administration on behalf of students receiving special education services. The Parent Advisory Council will work towards the district mission of providing a high-quality educational experience for all learners as it applies to students with special needs and their families.
PCA (Personal Care Assistant) – an individual helping a child learn skills so he or she can be more independent at school, home and in the community.
Pre-Referral Interventions - before referring a child for an evaluation, the classroom teacher must plan strategies to see if your child’s behavior or academic progress improves with simple changes in curriculum or environment. These are called “pre-referral interventions.” At least two pre-referral interventions must be tried and documented. If the child’s performance improves, an evaluation may not be needed. If problems continue, an evaluation will help identify more specific ways to help the child learn.
Referral – parents/teachers or staff knowledgeable about the student can make a referral for a special education evaluation. When classroom interventions are not successful, a referral will be made for a Child Study Team to consider whether the child should receive further evaluation. The team decides the areas to be evaluated and the types of evaluation to be completed.
Related Services – services required to make a child benefit from special education. An example may be transportation or occupational therapy.
Response to Intervention (RtI)- a 3-tiered model of instructional support available for all students. It includes providing high quality instruction and interventions matched to student need, monitoring progress frequently to make changes in instruction, and applying child response data to important educational decisions.
Resource Room – a room other than a general education classroom where a student may receive his or her special education services. The room is a special education setting.