Acronyms & Common Terms

A

ACPS
Albemarle County Public Schools: Click here to learn more about our school division.
AHS
Albemarle High School: Culminating comprehensive high school for students in the Northern Feeder Pattern; located on Hydraulic Road.
AMO
Annual Measurable Objective: A metric used to determine the Division’s level of success against the benchmarks set by the State. They represent the minimum required percentages of students determined to be proficient in each content area.
ARC
Albemarle Resource Center: Meeting place & storage facility for shared materials; located on Rose Hill Drive.
Assessment
A way to get information about a student's knowledge. Assessments may be formative (conducted before a lesson or unit is taught to determine what students already know and areas for emphasis) or summative (occurring after instruction has been given to determine what has been learned). Click here for descriptions of and information about our various assessments.
AYP
Adequate Yearly Progress: An expectation of the Federal "No Child Left Behind" (NCLB) act requiring that all students at all schools meet certain achievement benchmarks, which increase yearly

B

Balanced Assessment Model
A mixture of formative, benchmark, summative, standardized, and project-based assessments used to inform instruction and practices, determine mastery, and compare results to others. Ensures a blend of types of assessments that are used to measure criteria important to the organization, such as various levels of thinking and college/workforce readiness skills, in addition to mandated assessments such as the Standards of Learning.
Baldrige
Baldrige National Quality Program Education Criteria for Performance Excellence
Benchmark
Benchmarking is the process of comparing one's processes and performance metrics to industry bests and/or best practices from other industries. After the benchmark is determined, leadership compares our performance to those benchmarked in order to understand why those firms are successful and to drive continuous improvement efforts to reach the benchmark set.
Bloom's Taxonomy
A measure of the level of thinking required in a given activity or assessment. Greater learning and mastery of concepts occurs at the higher levels of Blooms.
Bright Stars
Bright Stars Program: Albemarle County preschool program for students ages 3-5; offered at certain elementary schools. Eligible families meet income requirements for admission.
BSC
Balanced Scorecard Model: A strategic performance management tool that is updated frequently (in the case of the Division, quarterly) during a fiscal year to monitor key performance indicators and progress toward strategic goals. Allows leadership to manage outcomes and determine areas for improvement and intervention dynamically, without waiting for lagging data. The BSC provides an "at-a-glance" report reflecting where the organization stands in terms of progress towards goals at given moments and informs resource and capital investment.

C

CATEC
Charlottesville Albemarle Technical Education Center: Jointly run by Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville; students in grades 10-12 may attend for all or part of their school day to master trades such as electrical, heating/air conditioning, masonry, construction, automotive repair, barbering, culinary arts, health/medical sciences, audio engineering, and entrepreneurship.
CEPI Resource Utilization Study
The comprehensive review of the School Division's budget, facilities, organizational structure, and management and allocation of resources conducted by the Commonwealth Educational Policy Institute (CEPI) at VCU in 2007; identified areas for restructuring and reallocation of resources to improve efficiency and effectivness. More than 90 percent of the recommendations have been reviewed and/or implemented as of 2010.
CIP
Capital Improvements Program: A budget that includes large infrastructure items that are funded over several years, often through borrowed funds; separate from the Division's Operating Budget. The CIP is a joint program with the school division and local government. Examples of items in the CIP include building renovations, additions and construction, large scale technology infrastructure deployments that are used over multiple years, large ticket vehicles such as firetrucks and school buses.
Classroom Walkthrough
A method of evaluating the instruction being delivered by teachers and the learning being mastered by students across the Division. Administrators briefly enter a classroom for a 10-minute or less visit to capture a "snapshot" of the learning taking place. They look for key indicators of quality learning, such as clear objectives, engaged students, relevant learning and use of best practice instructional strategies that maximize learning. Administrators then follow up with the teachers as part of the Teacher Performance Appraisal (TPA) and report the data through SchoolNet (our information management system) to determine division-wide implementation of our curricular objectives. Classroom Walkthroughs help Division leadership determine whether students in any classroom in any school are receiving quality learning opportunities and encourage sharing of best practices among teachers and schools. (AKA "Learning Walks")
COB
County Office Building located at 401 McIntire Road; education offices are located on the 3rd floor. Also contains registrar, community development, finance (pay your taxes), payroll, human resources, purchasing and county executives. Click here for driving directions.
COB South
County Office Building located on the corner of Old Lynchburg Road and 5th Street; contains departments of housing, social services, police and fire.
Common Rigorous Assessment
An assessment that all students in a particular class, grade or course take at a particular interval during the year (often weekly or quarterly) to measure student learning across a larger group. These assessments are developed by teams of teachers and curriculum specialists and used to identify students in need of intervention or enrichment.
Continuous Improvement
A model used to drive and measure efforts to improve each effort, project, department, school, and the entire organization; part of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program; implemented through the Plan-Do-Study-Act model for each initiative, so that programs are evaluated and improved.
CPCS
Community Public Charter School: A new arts-infused charter middle school housed at Burley Middle School. Students who live in any middle school district may choose to attend CPCS. Transportation is provided from a student's home middle school.
CTE
Career & Technical Education: Courses that prepare for a specific career, such as marketing, computer programming, construction, consumer sciences, early childhood education, etc. Students who complete two years of coursework in a particular field are designated as CTE completers. Virginia has just introduced a new CTE diploma that places emphasis on these courses.

D

DOE or VDOE
Virginia Department of Education: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/
DSA
Developmental Spelling Assessment: Assessment for Word Study conducted in the elementary grades; determines a student's ability to understand spelling and syllable concepts in English.

E

EDEP
Extended Day Enrichment Programs: After-school enrichment programs offered at all county elementary schools.
Engaging Qualities
A set of seven qualities that, when used, create a safe and secure learning environment as well as student engagement, or interest in the lesson or content area, thus driving higher levels of motivation, thinking and achievement.
Essential Standards
Specific competencies required for complex process performance. Refer to the FQL for additional information.
ESOL
English for Speakers of Other Languages: Specialized programs and classes taught by, or in collaboration with, trained teachers who assist Albemarle County students and adults with acquiring proficiency in English as well as accessing the curricular content; office is located behind Burley Middle School in the Burley Annex.
Exempt Positions
Salaried positions that are exempt from hourly tracking of time under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA); generally includes teachers and administrative leadership roles. Non-exempt positions are paid an hourly wage for the number of hours and minutes worked, with overtime calculated according to the FLSA.

F

FQL
Framework for Quality Learning: The Division's instructional philosophy and curriculum framework; rigorous expectations for how students learn, analyze information, and communicate, leading to increased student engagement, content mastery, and higher-order thinking. Click here for a video introduction to the FQL.

G

GRT
Gifted Resource Teacher: Each school has a dedicated GRT to assist regular classroom teachers with challenging all students.

J

JAFROTC
Junior Air Force Reserve Office Training Corps: An Air Force ROTC program for high school students offered at Monticello High.

K

KPI
Key Performance Indicator: A specific measure of performance that is used to determine progress toward achieving a goal and/or evaluate success. KPIs measure what is important to an organization and are tied to strategic priorities and goals.

L

Learning Community
A culture or environment where all members of the community (teachers, students, staff, administrators) are learning together, modeling lifelong learning, taking risks, habits of mind, and continuous growth and improvement; encourages collaboration and sharing of knowledge and skills versus working in silos.
Learning Walk
See definition for "Classroom Walkthrough."
LEP
Limited English Proficiency: A category of the No Child Left Behind Act that designates students who are not yet fluent in speaking, reading and writing in English.
LLL
Lifelong-Learner Competencies: A set of 12 college and workforce readiness skills outlined by the Division as critical to preparing all learners for success in the global community and global economy.
LMS
Library Media Specialist: Formerly called a "librarian," this certified teacher manages the library media center and its collection of books, equipment and electronic resources, and collaborates with other teachers to teach traditional and information literacy.

M

Mastery Learning
A type of learning in which a student must complete all assignments at a score of 80 percent or higher. Students are given the opportunity to redo assignments or make corrections until 80 percent is achieved. Assures there are no gaps in student learning for a particular unit.
MESA
Math, Engineering & Science Academy: A new interdisciplinary science and mathematics specialty program offered at Albemarle High.
MoHS
Monticello High School: Culminating comprehensive high school for the Southern Feeder Pattern; located on Independence Way, between Route 20 South and Avon Street Extended.

N

NBCT
National Board certification is a demonstration of a candidate's teaching practice as measured against high and rigorous standards.
NCLB Act
No Child Left Behind Act: The name given to the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) in 2001, when standardized testing requirements were established by the U.S. Department of Education for all 50 states and the District of Columbia; requires that students in grades 3-12 take annual in-common assessments aligned to state standards, and that an annual percentage of student must show proficiency on these assessments in order for the school and/or Division to meet Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) towards 100 percent proficiency in 2014. Requires that students who are part of groups to achieve at the same levels as all students. These membership groups, or subpopulations, include White, Black, Hispanic, socio-economically disadvantaged, limited English proficiency, and students with disabilities. The act sets 29 benchmarks that must be met by all students to achieve AYP. Schools that do not make AYP are required to take steps to improve student performance and risk losing their funding or being closed if scores do not improve.

P

PALS
Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening: Screening for primary students that measures their ability to match letters with the sounds they make; helps assess reading readiness and proficiency.
PBL
Project Based Learning: Inquiry-based process for teaching and learning. In PBL, students focus on a complex question or problem, then answer the question or solve the problem through a collaborative process of investigation over an extended period of time. Projects begin with curriculum standards, are organized around an Essential Question/Understanding, and use aligned assessments to determine what students have learned.
PDRP
Professional Development Reimbursement Program: Program to reimburse staff for conferences and courses. Applications must be submitted prior to the start of the course or conference.
Performance Task or Performance Assessment
"Performance Assessment can be defined as a method of evaluating students' knowledge, concepts, or skills by requiring them to perform a task designed to emulate real-life contexts or conditions in which students must apply the specific knowledge, concepts, or skills." (American Educational Research Association, American Psychological Association, & National Council on Measurement in Education, 1999; U.S. Department of Education, 1993
PLC
Professional Learning Community: Teachers work in teams to improve student learning.
PMOC
Project Management Oversight Committee: The purpose of the PMOC is to identify, approve, and oversee the progress of key projects necessary to meet Division goals and targets. The committee is comprised of principal and central office representatives.
PREP
Piedmont Regional Education Program: A regional school for students in Central Virginia who are in need of alternative learning environment
Priority
An actionable item that represents a subset of a goal as part of the continuous improvement and strategic planning processes. The school board and superintendent set the Division's Priorities to further focus each strategic goal and drive improvement work on a two-year cycle. Priorities are aligned to goals; key performance indicators are developed to measure priorities.
PSAT/NMSQT
Practice Scholastic Aptitude Test/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test: A test given in October of a student's 10th and 11th grade year as practice for the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and to qualify students for National Merit program scholarships and commendations to college.

Q

QRI
Qualitative Reading Inventory: An assessment used to determine a reader's competence with word recognition in isolation and in context, fluency, and comprehension.

S

SAT
Scholastic Aptitude Test: A rigorous test measuring a student's performance on critical reading, writing and mathematics; used in the college admissions process.
SBIT
School-Based Intervention Team: A team of teachers, counselors and other professionals who work together to develop strategies to assist students who are having difficulty in school.
SES
Socio-Economic Status: A measurement in the No Child Left Behind Act that helps determine if all students, regardless of family income, are achieving at similar levels.
SIS
Student Information System.
SMART Goal
Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound objective set by an organization, department or school that is achieved by setting priorities and indicators to determine progress. Goals are tied to the overall mission and vision of a department, school or organization and drive the continuous improvement process.
SOL
Standards of Learning: Curricular objectives set by the Commonwealth of Virginia, laying out the content that must be taught in a particular course or grade level.
Student Engagement
A measure of the level of interest displayed by students in a particular lesson or activity. Students who are interested in the lesson exert more effort, are more motivated, and retain more learning.

T

Title I
A federal program that provides additional funding, support and regulations for schools that have a federally set percentage of students who qualify for the federal free and reduced price meals program (indicating poverty). Rules under the No Child Left Behind Act are different for Title I schools, with additional efforts required to improve achievement.
TPA
Teacher Performance Appraisal: A systematic structure for ensuring professional growth for teachers.

V

VDOE or DOE
Virginia Department of Education: http://www.doe.virginia.gov
Vertical Team
A group of teachers and curricular specialists who meet regularly to define and discuss the essential standards for a content area and ensure continuity and progression as students move through the grades. Team members generally serve two-year terms and serve as resources to other teachers in that content area to assist with creating lessons that meet the Division's curricular goals.
VGLA
Virginia Grade Level Assessment: Assessment for students in grades 3-8; teachers can use a body of evidence to demonstrate student proficiency on a Virginia Standard of Learning for a given course or content area.

W

WAHS
Western Albemarle High School: Culminating comprehensive high school for the Western Feeder Pattern; located on Route 250 in Crozet.
WIDA
(Levels 1-5) An assessment used for English Language Learners (ELL) to determine facility with and proficiency in English. ELL students are assigned a level of 1-5, with level 1 students requiring the most support to access curricular content.