Common Terms

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Accommodations: Specialized support and services that are provided to enable students with diverse needs to achieve learning expectations. This may include technological equipment, support staff and informal support. Accommodations enable students with diverse needs to participate in educational programming.
Achievement Tests: Standardized tests that are designed to measure a person's level of skill, accomplishment, or knowledge in a specific subject area.
Adaptations: Teaching and assessment strategies made to accommodate a student's needs to achieve the learning outcomes of the subject or course and demonstrate mastery of concepts. Adjustments to curriculum content, instructional strategies (e.g. use of interpreters, visual cues and aids), materials or technology (e.g. Braille, digital books), assessment strategies (e.g. oral exams, additional time, assistive technologies), and the learning environment are made in accordance with the strength, needs, and interests of the student. Adaptations enable achievement toward the learning outcomes of the provincially prescribed curriculum. All students may be provided adaptations.
Adjusted Schedule: Any reduction in time to the daily regular school schedule.
Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs): Term used to describe traumatic experiences that occur to people under the age of 18 with regards to abuse (physical, sexual and emotional), neglect (physical and emotional), and household dysfunction (death/incarceration of a parent, domestic violence, family member suffering from mental illness, poverty, and abandonment due to separation/divorce).
Assessment: This is a systematic process of gathering information in order to make appropriate educational decisions for a student. It is a collaborative and progressive process designed to identify the student's strengths and needs, set goals, and results in identifying and implementing selected educational strategies.
Baseline: The student's current level of performance in his or her focus area prior to the implementation of an intervention.
Behaviour as Communication: Behaviour is an attempt to communicate an unmet physiological or sensory need, a lagging skill, or a desire to avoid/escape a situation or demand.
Benchmark: Important student outcomes or goals for a grade within a particular domain (e.g. reading), that students should be achieved during the course of a school year (e.g. fall, winter, spring) in order to be on target for end-of-grade performance by the end of that school year.
Case Manager: A teacher who is a member of the IEP team and is responsible for planning, coordination of instruction, delivery of support services, and monitoring and evaluation of an individual student's success plan. The case manager will be the primary contact for the parent or guardian.
Collaborative Consultation: This is a process in which people work together to solve a common problem or address a common concern. A successful collaborative process is characterized by the following features: it is voluntary; there is mutual trust and open communication among the people involved; identification/clarification of the problem to be addressed is a shared task; the goal is shared by all participants; each participant's contribution is valued equally; all participants' skills are employed in identifying and selecting problem-solving strategies, and there is shared responsibility for the program or strategy initiated.
Data-Driven Decision Making: The process of planning for student success (both academic and behavioural) using ongoing progress monitoring and data analysis.
Developmental Domains: We foster self-regulation and self-determination for all students through the nine developmental areas (independence, personal-social well-being, communication, health/personal care, academic achievement, safety, motor skills, and transition).
Differentiated Instruction: Teaching that emphasizes differing ways to meet the diverse needs of students within the general education setting which is an integral part of Tier 1 and 2.  
District Consultant: A professional designated by a school district that has specific specialized training and is available to schools to consult on issues within their area(s) of expertise.
Educational Program Guide: A document specified as an educational program guide in Ministerial Order 333/99, the Educational Program Guide Order M333/99.
Flexible Grouping: Grouping of students that is changeable based on the purpose of the instructional activity and on changes in the instructional needs of individual students over time.
Individual Education Plan (IEP): An individual education plan designed for a student that includes one or more of the following: learning outcomes that are different from, or in addition to expected learning outcomes set out in the applicable educational program guide, a list of support services, a list of adapted materials, instruction, or assessment methods. Defined in the Individual Education Plan Order.
Inclusion: Describes the principle that all students are entitled to equitable access to learning, achievement, and the pursuit of excellence in all aspects of their education. The practice of inclusion is not necessarily synonymous with integration and goes beyond placement to include meaningful participation and the promotion of interaction with others.
Intervention: The systematic and explicit instruction provided to facilitate growth in an area of the identified need. They are designed to improve performance relative to a specific, measurable goal. Interventions are based on valid information about current performance, realistic implementation, and the monitoring of student progress.
Least-Restrictive Environment: A student who has a disability should have the opportunity to be educated with non-disabled peers, to the greatest extent appropriate. The student should be provided with instructional support and services necessary to achieve educational goals if placed in a setting with non-disabled peers.
Ministry Designation: Categories used to identify students who meet specific BC Ministry of Education criteria in specific domains for supplemental funding and support.
Modifications: These are a form of accommodation which establish learning outcomes specifically designed to meet a student's special needs. Instructional and assessment-related decisions are made to accommodate a student's educational needs that consist of individualized learning goals and modified outcomes that are substantially different from those within a provincially prescribed curriculum.
Research-Based Instruction/Intervention/Practice: A research-based instructional practice is reliable, trustworthy and valid based on evidence to suggest that, when the program is used with a particular group of children, the children can be expected to make adequate gains in achievement. Ongoing documentation and analysis of student outcomes help to define the effective practice.
Response to Intervention/Instruction (RTI): A multi-levelled approach that is used to help students in their learning. Student progress is closely monitored at each tier or level to determine the need for further research-based instruction and/or intervention:
  • Tier 1 (Universal): The instructional program that occurs in classrooms for all students including the differentiation of instruction to meet student needs. This can refer to both academic and/or behavioural needs.
  • Tier 2 (Targeted): The instructional program that provides supplemental support to students who struggle in the classroom or Tier1 setting. Whenever possible Level 2 interventions should be classroom-based but may include small group settings. The interventions are more targeted,  intense and focused with a definitive timeline and frequent measurement of student progress.
  • Tier 3  (Intensive): Represents a highly specialized,  long-term and intense level of intervention for individual students whose needs are significant and require interventions from an extended team. Tier 3 interventions are implemented when Tier 1 and Tier 2 strategies are not effective on their own.
School-Based Team: This is an on-going team, comprised of school-based personnel, who have a formal role to play as a problem-solving unit in assisting classroom teachers to develop, coordinate and implement instructional and/or management support measures.
Self-Regulation: A student's ability to monitor and control their own behaviour, emotions, or thoughts, altering them in accordance with the demands of the situation. It includes the abilities to inhibit impulsive responses, avoid distractions, and persist on relevant tasks even when they are not enjoyable.
Student Functional Needs: Students with learning support needs are identified in one or more of the five domains (Cognitive, Independent Living and Self Determination, Communication, Social/Emotional, Auditory and/or Visual) and receive educational support measures required to reach their potential.
Student with Disabilities and Diverse Abilities:  Is a school-aged student who has an impairment of an intellectual, neurodevelopmental, psychological, physical, physiological sensory, social/emotional, or behavioural nature, or has exceptional talents.
Transition: This is the passage of a student from one environment to another at key points in the student's development from childhood to adulthood. 
A Transition Plan: Are the school's written plan to assist the student in making a successful transition from school to work, further education, and community living.
Transition Planning:  Is the preparation, implementation and evaluation required to enable students to make major transitions during their lives - from home or preschool to school; from class to class; from school to school; from school district to school district; and from school to post-secondary, community, or work situations.