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Glossary of Education-Related Terms


ACT: this optional test generally is taken by college-bound students. Offered several times during the year, the American College Testing program examination (ACT) measures likelihood of student success in higher education.

Advanced Placement: this program, sponsored by the College Board, enables students to take one or more college-level courses while in high school. After passing an examination, students may receive college credit and/or advanced standing in a subject that is part of the college curriculum.

Agribusiness: such programs include the study of animal science, horticulture and business-related aspects of agriculture.

Agriculture: students are exposed to various aspects of agribusiness including animal science and horticulture.

American Community School: overseas school frequently backed by a U.S. corporation or corporations. Designed to serve a broad range of abilities, their basic objective is to facilitate students' transfers back to U.S. schools.

Art Education: programs emphasize perceptual awareness, art heritage, creativity, and interpretation through classroom instruction and hands-on experience in various media.

At-risk: programs geared for students with special needs who have experienced school problems.

Bilingual/ESL Program: a program offering instruction to foreign-speaking students in their native language and/or English.

Business Education: programs teach keyboarding, entrepreneurship and computer applications that prepare students to pursue higher education by utilizing business occupation skills.

Charter school: in certain states private initiative and state funding can combine to set up schools with specific purposes and supported without many of the usual state regulations.

Choice: programs potentially open to all students in a given area, although there are sometimes lotteries or waiting lists.

Choral Music: development of students' creative and expressive nature through participation in singing and listening. Programs may include reading, writing and performing music.

Competency-based Education: students receive credit when they demonstrate proficiency in a given area.

Computer Education: computer literacy is incorporated into normal school work and met by routine classroom activities. High school students may have the opportunity to study computer science, technology, programming and data processing.

Consulting Service: a SchoolMatch® service available to companies requiring in- depth analysis: group moves, site selection, or school products and services marketing information.

Counseling Service: a SchoolMatch® service that assists families with special needs or unique situations.

Department of Defense Dependents School: formed to serve the children of U. S. armed forces personnel outside the continental U. S.

Drama/Theater Arts: programs offering students experiences in the reading and interpretation of dramatic literature. Students design sets, costume/make-up and lighting for productions. Character analysis, the study and production of plays also are a part of the curriculum.

Dual Enrollment: through a cooperative arrangement with local colleges and universities, students may earn college credit for some courses taken while still in high school.

ESL: see Bilingual/ESL Program.

Exceptional Education: programs for students whose educational needs cannot be met in the regular classroom. These programs include resource programs, special schools, and hospital/homebound instruction.

Executive Internship program: this program provides high school seniors the opportunity to explore career interests through internships with community businesses. Students receive credit in this program that emphasizes a realistic view of the work world and the development of leadership skills.

Extended Day: child care provided either during school (for the children of teen and adult parents) or before/after school (for primary age students).

Food Service: A sub-function of the function non-instructional services. Food services are activities that provide food to students and staff in a school or school system. These services include preparing and serving regular and incidental meals or snacks in connection with school activities as well as delivery of food to schools.

Foreign Language: foreign languages may be offered at any grade level, including beginning, intermediate, and advanced semester or year long courses.

GED: General Education Diploma. also called high school equivalency offered to students who pass a competency test.

Gifted: programs for students of exceptional ability. Services include pull-out programs, in-class programs and accelerated courses. Teaching content stresses concepts, problem-solving, and higher level thinking skills.

Hearing Impaired: special instruction for students with a documented hearing loss.

Home-based: programs controlled by parents teaching their own children.

Home Economics: programs, including hands-on activities, that provide students with daily living skills for success in today's family, community and world. Job preparatory programs may also be available.

Homeschooling support groups: offer advice, support, get-togethers, legal and other information, and often go on field trips.

Independent School: private, no part of a municipal or state system. However, independent schools may contract with public systems to provide services.

Instrumental Music: programs in learning to play musical instruments including small classes or individual instruction. May include performance in small groups, band and orchestra.

International School: private school serving students from many nations with multilingual, multicultural, and multiethnic education. The curriculum blends more than one country's education system, and instruction is frequently in more than one language.

LD: See SLD.

Magnet Programs: established in schools to provide an opportunity for students to engage in intensive study in specific areas. They are administered by the host schools. Participation is open to all students who meet the eligibility requirements. Studies offered in some magnet programs include: International Baccalaureate, Allied Medicine, Performing Arts, Animal Production, and Engineering and Science Technology.

Marketing Education: students have the opportunity to enroll in marketing education classes that include the study of marketing and employability and entrepreneurial skills. Some courses include an on-the-job training component.

Mirror Image: a SchoolMatch® Profile that replicates a known school community in an unknown area.

Open-entrance, open-exit: no rigid enrollment calendar.

Orff Shulwork: an approach to music used primarily in Montessori schools.

Parochial School: a private school backed by a parish, church, synagogue, or other religious institution.

Physically Impaired: programs provided for those with physically disabling conditions or health impairments requiring adaptations to the school environment.

Pre-K: early-intervention program that serves 4-year-old children who have special needs.

Report Card: a SchoolMatch® comparison of a school system or private school giving regional and national rankings.

SAT: this optional test generally is taken by college-bound students. Offered several times during the year, the Scholastic Assessment Tests (SAT) measure verbal and mathematical reasoning skills or abilities related to college performance. The scores listed are the most recent for the high schools students.

School Level: A School's level is based on the grade levels that attend that school:
  • Primary: The lowest grade being Pre-Kindergarten through 3rd Grade, and the highest grade being Pre-Kindergarten through 8th Grade.
  • Middle: The lowest grade being 4th Grade through 7th Grade, and the highest grade being 4th Grade through 9th Grade.
  • High: The lowest grade being 7th Grade through 12th Grade, and the highest grade being 12th Grade only.
  • Other: Any other configuration not falling within the above three categories, including Un-Graded.
School Locales: The U. S. Census describes populous areas, based on the school's location address.
  • Large City: A central city of a Core Based Statistical Area (CBSA) or Consolidated Statistical Area (CSA), with the city having a population greater than or equal to 250,000.
  • Mid-size City: A central city of a CBSA or CSA, with the city having a population less than 250,000.
  • Urban Fringe of a Large City: Any incorporated place, Census Designated Place, or non-place territory within a CBSA or CSA of a Large City and defined as urban by the Census Bureau.
  • Urban Fringe of a Mid-size City: Any incorporated place, Census Designated Place, or non-place territory within a CBSA or CSA of a Mid-size City and defined as urban by the Census Bureau.
  • Large Town: An incorporated place or Census Designated Place with a population greater than or equal to 25,000 and located outside a CBSA or CSA.
  • Small Town: An incorporated place or Census Designated Place with a population less than 25,000 and greater than or equal to 2,500 and located outside a CBSA or CSA.
  • Rural, outside CBSA: Any incorporated place, Census designated place, or non-place territory not within a CBSA or CSA of a Large or Mid-size City and defined as rural by the Census Bureau.
  • Rural, inside CBSA: Any incorporated place, Census designated place, or non-place territory within a CBSA or CSA of a Large or Mid-size City and defined as rural by the Census Bureau.

SchoolMatch®: an informative service with data on all American school systems and accredited private schools in the world.

SLD ( Specific Learning Disabilities): a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in learning. Individual instruction is provided to aid the student with special needs in listening, thinking, reading, talking, writing, spelling or arithmetic.

Speech and Language Impaired: students meeting state and district requirements who have a speech or language deficiency are provided special instruction that meets individual educational needs.

Student-centered: an approach based on the interest of the student rather than a pre-structured curriculum.

Student Contract: student and teacher make an agreement/commitment to each other regarding the student's performance or behavior

Supplemental High School Report Card: a SchoolMatch® service available with the Report Card providing information on individual high schools.

Technology Education: programs involve students in a systematic study of the creation, utilization, and behavior of tools, machines, techniques, and technical systems.

Title 1/Chapter 1: a federally funded program designed to help students achieve academically. At designated schools, assistance is provided to pre-kindergarten, first, second and third graders in reading and/or math

Visually Impaired: programs provided for students with documented eye impairment.

Year Round Education: year-round elementary schools offer a 180 day school calendar throughout 12 months of the year. This does not add to student attendance days, it restructures the traditional year. In Orange County, the 180 days of instruction are divided into three sessions. Each session lasts 12 weeks, or 60 days, and is followed by a vacation of approximately three weeks, or 15 days. This cycle is repeated three times throughout the school year.


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