U-46 offers this glossary to provide an explanation of terms used in the district. The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) also offers an on-line dictionary of educational terms.
Academy - Programs at each of the five high schools that are designed to take students to new levels of creative, interdisciplinary learning and give them a head start on their higher education. Each program has a special focus, and freshmen are selected for the programs through an application and interview process. Link to academy site
Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) - It represents the annual academic performance targets in reading and math that the State, school districts, and schools must reach to be considered on track for 100% proficiency by school year 2013-14. More information is provided on the Illinois State Board of Education site.
AESA - The Association of Elgin School Administrators is a professional organization composed of the various administrators who work in District U-46.
Advanced Placement Courses (AP) - Each high school in U-46 offers many AP opportunities for students. AP courses can help you acquire the skills and habits you'll need to be successful in college. You'll improve your writing skills, sharpen your problem-solving abilities, and develop time management skills, discipline, and study habits.
Talk to your counselor, an AP teacher or the AP Coordinator at your school about the AP course you want to take. Discuss the course's workload and any preparation you might need so you are ready for the challenge.
The AP Examinations are administered each year in May and represent the culmination of college-level work in a given discipline in a secondary school setting. Rigorously developed by committees of college and AP high school faculty, the AP Exams test students' ability to perform at a college level. Most four-year colleges in the United States and colleges in more than 60 other countries give students credit, advanced placement or both on the basis of AP Exam scores. The cost of the AP Examinations is the responsibility of the student.
Click here for more high school information.
Advisory Council – In addition to the Citizens’ Advisory Council, numerous special interest advisory councils meet periodically to discuss issues of concern and to provide feedback to District U-46. Click here for more information on Advisory Councils.
Assessment – Another word for “test.” Under No Child Left Behind, tests are aligned with academic standards. Beginning in the 2002-03 school year, schools must administer tests in each of three grade spans: grades 3-5, grades 6-9, and grades 10-12 in all schools. Beginning in the 2005-06 school year, tests must be administered every year in grades 3 through 8 in math and reading. Beginning in the 2007-08 school year, science achievement must also be tested.
At-Risk - A term applied to students who have not been adequately served by social service or educational systems and are at risk of educational failure due to lack of services, negative life events, or physical or mental challenges, among others.
Audit – Under certain conditions, an additional class may be taken on an audit basis. No grade or credit is given. An audit course is included in the maximum class load allowed.
AVID - Advancement Via Individual Determination
AYP - See Adequate Yearly Progress. State of Illinois AYP information.
BEACON - The Broadcast, Education, and Communication Networks Academy at South Elgin High School.
Bids - Because School District U-46 is a public body, most major purchases of goods and services are subject to a bidding process specified by law. The administration coordinates the bidding process and makes recommendations to the Board of Education regarding which bid should be accepted. By law, District U-46 is obligated to accept the lowest bid from among responsible bidders.
Big Books - Oversized books that offer the opportunity to share print and illustrations with a group of children as a standard sized book would be shared with just a few.
Business Meeting - District U-46 Board of Education meetings generally have three components: Closed Session, Work Session and the Business Meeting. Public comment is entertained during the Business Meeting. Actions taken at the Business Meeting are based on items that have been thoroughly discussed during a previous Work Session (usually the Work Session held two weeks prior to the Business Meeting).
Categorical State Aid - Money earmarked for specific programs. Categorical programs that receive support from the state include special education, bilingual education, gifted education, adult education, free & reduced lunch program and pupil transportation. Historically, the state pays less than 100% of its share for categorical programs.
Citizens’ Advisory Council - For almost 50 years, the Citizens’ Advisory Council (CAC) has served as an officially constituted advisory body to the District U-46 Board of Education. CAC members participate in the development and writing of committee reports and recommendations.
Closed Session - During a Closed Session, Board members can discuss only specific topics as defined by the Illinois Open Meetings Act. Personnel actions and student discipline situations are among the items that can be discussed during Closed Session. All Closed Sessions are posted and announced to the News Media.
Collective Bargaining - The process of negotiations between the school district and its various employee groups.
Corrective Action – When a school or district does not make Adequate Yearly Progress, the state will place it under a “Corrective Action Plan.” The plan will include resources to improve teaching, administration or curriculum. If a school continues to be identified as in need of improvement, then the state has increased authority to make any necessary, additional changes to ensure improvement.
Credit – A credit is the high school’s measure of course work completed. Two credits are given for successful completion of a course meeting one or more periods every day for two semesters. Successful completion of a one-semester course equals one credit. Ten credits are typically earned in one school year.
CRISS – Creating Independence through Student-owned Strategies (CRISS) was created to help students better organize, understand and retain course information. "This program helps teachers teach and learners learn."
CTE - Career and Technical Education
Curriculum Center - A prioritized, baseline curriculum framework created by district teams as part of the District Improvement Plan. It provides consistency regarding instructional priorities across grade levels and schools and is a vehicle for U-46 educators to help all our students meet the Illinois State Standards. Resources and assessment planning are also a part of the curriculum plan.
DECA - (Distributive Education Clubs of America) is a national association of marketing education students, which provides teachers and members with educational and leadership development activities to merge with the education classroom instructional program.
District Improvement Plan – The District Improvement Plan (DIP) is a long-range plan designed to result in continuing improvement of student academic performance. It is currently comprised of five “pillars,” or areas of concentration: Teaching, Learning and Leadership; Recognition and Interventions; Operational Excellence; People; and Family and Community Engagement.
Dual Language – The goal of the program is to develop strong skills and proficiency in students’ first language and a second language. Normally, about half of the students in the classroom are native English speakers and the other group is English language learners (ELL). ELL students all speak the same language, however instruction is in English and, for example, Spanish languages.
DUEA - The District U-46 Educational Assistants organization represents classroom assistants, special education assistants, bilingual assistants and library paraprofessionals in District U-46.
DUSA - The District U-46 Secretarial Association represents secretaries and clerical workers in District U-46.
DUTU - The District U-46 Transportation Union represents bus drivers, mechanics and other transportation employees in District U-46.
Educational Services Center (ESC) - Administration, curriculum, human resources, financial, graphics and information services departments are housed at 355 E. Chicago St., Elgin.
ELL – English Language Learners
ELP – English Language Proficiency
Elective Courses – Courses that a student may select to complete a yearly schedule in relation to personal interests, aptitudes, and future plans.
ESEA – This is short for Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which was first enacted in 1965, and is the principal federal law affecting K-12 education. The No Child Left Behind Act is the most recent reauthorization of the ESEA.
ESL – English as a Second Language is a program or techniques, methodology and special curriculum designed to teach ELL students English language skills, which may include listening, speaking, reading, writing, study skills, content vocabulary, and cultural orientation. ESL instruction is usually in English with little use of native language. Learn more at the U-46 ELL site.
ESSO - Education Support Service Organization represents custodial and maintenance employees in District U-46.
ETA - The Elgin Teachers Association represents District U-46 teachers.
Everyday Math – A comprehensive pre-K-6 grade mathematics curriculum developed by the University of Chicago School Mathematics Project. It is used in U-46 elementary schools. Link to everyday math
FACS - (Family and Consumer Sciences) Skills for some of the most important needs in life (food, shelter, clothing, and direction for our lives) are developed through Family and Consumer Science classes in our schools. All life skills are addressed, and meaningful and vital careers are explored.
FBLA - PBL – Future Business Leaders of America – Phi Beta Lambda is a nonprofit education association of students preparing for careers in business and business-related fields. Link to FBLA-PBL
FCCLA – Family, Career and Community Leaders of America is a nonprofit national vocational organization for young men and women in family and consumer sciences education in public and private school through grade 12.
Fluency - Achieving speed and accuracy in recognizing words, comprehending connected text and coordinating the two.
General State Aid - The amount of money school districts receive on a formula basis regardless of the programs being offered. Components of the formula include pupil attendance, the district's EAV and a foundation amount.
Gifted and Talented Academy at Elgin High School.
Highly Qualified Teacher – The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 requires that, by the end of the 2—5—6 school year all teachers in core academic subjects must be highly qualified in the areas of teaching assignments. All teachers in programs supported by Title I funds or newly hired after the first day of the 2002-03 school year must be highly qualified at the time of employment. Teachers are considered to be highly qualified if they 1) have a bachelor’s degree; 2) have a full State certification; and 3) have demonstrated subject-matter competence in the area(s) taught.
HOSA – Health Occupations Students of America is a student organization whose mission is to promote career opportunities in heath care. To learn more visit their web site http://www.hosa.org
IASB - The Illinois Association of School Boards is a voluntary association. Membership is open to all school districts in Illinois.
IHSA - All District U-46 high schools belong to the Illinois High School Association. IHSA coordinates statewide competition in extra-curricular activities including athletics.
Instructional Council - The U-46 Instructional Council is the district-wide advisory body charged with making recommendations to the Superintendent for presentation to the Board of Education regarding the following areas: new and revised course curricula in all areas of instruction; textbook and supplemental/resource materials related to approved curricula; instructional strategies related to student learning and achievement; research based projects; and alignment of curricula throughout the district. The Instructional Council also acts as a clearinghouse for disseminating information related to various programs, initiatives, and projects through out the school district. The Instructional Council meets once per month and is comprised of a mix of elected and appointed representatives from k-12 teachers, building and central office administrators, and community members, all of whom serve staggered three year terms.
ISAT – Illinois Standard Achievement Test (ISAT) measures individual student achievement relative to the Illinois Learning Standards. For more information see their web site at http://www.isbe.net/assessment/isat.htm
IEP - Individual Education Plan
ISBE - Illinois State Board of Education. The web site is http://www.isbe.net
Literacy - This includes reading, writing and the creative and analytical acts involved in producing and comprehending texts.
MAP - (Measures of Academic Progress) is a Reading, Math, and Language usage test that measures growth to inform teaching and learning.
Minutes - The minutes are a written record of discussions held at each board as recorded by the Board Secretary. Minutes of Work Sessions and Business Meetings are public documents and may be inspected during normal business hours through prior arrangement with the office of the Board Secretary.
No Child Left Behind - NCLB was signed into law January 8, 2002. It is the latest revision of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The overall purpose of the law is to ensure that each child in America is able to meet the high learning standards of the state where he or she lives. Link to Illinois State Board of Education’s NCLB site http://www.isbe.state.il.us/nclb/htmls/highlights.htm or the U.S. Department of Education's site http://www.ed.gov/nclb for more information.
PBIS - Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports is a compilation of effective practices, interventions and systems change strategies that have been demonstrated to work in improving student behaviors determined by each school community.
Phonemes - In oral language, the small units that combine to form syllables and words (e.g., the phonemes in the words "bit" and "hit" are the same except for the first segment; and the word "hint" has one more phoneme than the word "hit").
Phonemic Awareness - A special kind of "phonological awareness" (defined below) involving the smallest units of oral language, phonemes.
Phonics - Instructional practices that emphasize how spellings are related to speech sounds in systematic ways; letter-sound correspondences.
Phonological Awareness - Knowing that oral language has structure that is separate from meaning; attending to the sub-lexical structure (structure within words) or oral language. "Beg" has one syllable and three phonemes; "egg" has one syllable and two phonemes.
Pillar – A component of the District Improvement Plan.
Policy - A policy is a formal statement of principles established by the Board of Education to provide guidance to the administration regarding the operation of the district.
Prairie State Achievement Examination – The Prairie State Achievement Examination (PSAE) measures the achievement of grade 11 students using three components: ISBE-developed writing, science, and social science assessments; the ACT Assessment which includes reading, English, mathematics, and science tests; and two WorkKeys assessments.
Prerequisites – Requirements that must be fulfilled before a student may enroll in a particular course. These requirements may include specific courses, specific grade average, approval of the teacher, etc.
Public Hearing - A Public Hearing is a formal opportunity for the Board to receive public opinion on various subjects that may eventually require board action. Notices of public hearings are advertised through local media.
Public Comment - Public Comment is entertained during each regularly scheduled Business Meeting. For details, see the section of this brochure entitled “When can I speak during Board meetings?”
Regional Office of Education - U-46 partners with the Kane County Regional Office of Education. The Kane County ROE promotes quality education for the citizens of Kane County by acting as an advocate, providing leadership, performing regulatory functions as directed by the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois School Code, providing access to needed resources and disseminating information to school districts, educators and the community.
Repeated Courses – A course may be repeated; however a duplicate credit is not granted for repeated courses. The highest earned is used for credit and in determination of class ranking. Both original and repeated courses will appear on the transcript.
Required Courses – Specific courses a student must take and pass in order to graduate.
Resolution - A Resolution is a formal statement that specifies a course of action that is determined, decided and adopted by the Board of Education.
RTI - Response to Intervention is a systematic process to improve academic outcomes for all students. When implemented fully, RtI has been shown to be effective with all types of learners and has improved overall outcomes. By the fall of 2010, Illinois will require that RtI be the key element when considering eligibility for special education under the learning disabilities category. Learn more at the U-46 RtI site.
SAFE - SAFE is designed to provide quality care to before and after school care to children in grades K-6 while parents work or further their own education. SAFE is not available at all schools. For more information see the SAFE webpages.
Science, Engineering and High Technology Academy at Bartlett High School.
SEIU Local 73 - Service Employees International Union Local 1 represents the food service workers in District U-46.
SkillsUSA – This national organization for students in training programs in technical, skilled and service occupations. Providing quality education experiences for students in leadership, teamwork, citizenship and character development. Their web site is available at http://www.skillsusa.org/
State School Report Card - A report card compiled by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) with student results on the Illinois Standards Assessment Test (ISAT).
Student Advisory Council - The Student Advisory Council, one of numerous special interest advisory councils which meets periodically with the Superintendent to discuss issues of concern and to provide feedback to District U-46 from the public.
Student Classification – High School students are classified at the end of each semester based upon credits earned. This classification is updated twice yearly (August and January) using the following scheme: Freshman –0-7 credits, Sophomores 8-17 credits, Juniors 18-27 credits and Seniors 28 or more credits. Participation in some student activities and Driver Education is based upon classification.
SWAS - (School Within A School) is a gifted program beginning in fourth grade.
Title I: The first section of the ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act), Title I refers to programs for disadvantaged students. It provides assistance to improve teaching and learning for children in high-poverty schools to help students meet state academic standards.
VPAA: Visual and Performing Arts Academy at Larkin High School