Glossary

We offer the following terms and abbreviations to help make reports or documents related to the Office for Education easier to follow.

TermAbbreviationDescription
Academic Achievement   Student learning as measured by meeting grade-level standards on state math, reading, and writing tests.
Access/Outreach   Public Health – Seattle & King County program to assist low-income families and individuals in accessing publicly-funded health care and other essential benefits.
Achievement Gap   The observed and persistent difference between the performance of groups of students, especially those defined by gender, race / ethnicity, and socioeconomic status, on standardized test scores, dropout rates, grade point average, and more.

Ages & Stages Questionnaires

ASQ-3 The parent-completed Ages & Stages Questionnaires®, Third Edition (ASQ-3TM) are an accurate, family-friendly way to screen children for developmental delays between one month and 5½ years, without any gaps between the questionnaire age intervals. ASQ-3′s questions on behavior and communication also help elicit parent concerns that may point to autism.
Alternative Learning Experience ALE School courses characterized by learning activities outside the regular classroom. Specific requirements for these activities are detailed in a written student learning plan (WSLP) developed and supervised by a certificated public school teacher. To receive state basic education funding for ALE, a school district must comply with requirements detailed in WAC 392-121-182.
Baseline Data   Information gathered for use as a reference point against which trends in performance can be measured or compared.
Best Practice   A method or technique that has consistently shown results superior to those achieved with other means, and which is therefore used as a benchmark. A "best" practice may become better as improvements are discovered.
Career and Technical Education CTE High school programs that prepare students for post-secondary employment; may include courses that build on each other to strengthen skills in particular careers.
Child Behavior Traits CBT Tool used by the Parent-Child Home Program to assess a child's development in 3 areas: cooperation with adults, engagement in developmentally appropriate tasks, and attention to task. Given three times per year.
Child Care Assistance Program CCAP City of Seattle program to help low- and moderate-income families who are working or in training pay for child care.
Classroom Assessment Scoring System CLASS Tool used by Seattle Early Learning Collaborative programs to assess interactions between teachers and children to determine teachers' professional development needs; includes areas of emotional support, classroom organization, and instructional support.
College Bound Scholarship Program Washington College Bound Program promising college tuition (at public institution rates) and a small book allowance for income-eligible students who sign up in the 7th or 8th grade, work hard in school, stay out of legal trouble, and successfully apply to a higher education institution when they graduate high school.
Common Core State Standards   Standards adopted by 44 states for the minimum math and literacy knowledge/skills children are expected to acquire and perform between K-12th grades in order to graduate high school college/career ready. The Common Core Assessments are scheduled to be administered to students in 2014.
Community Center for Education Results CCER Nonprofit organization founded in 2010 dedicated to dramatically improving education results in South Seattle and South King County.
Community-Based Organization CBO An organization, often a nonprofit, that operates within a single community to provide community-service and action, health, educational, personal growth and improvement, social welfare, or self-help for the disadvantaged.
Comprehensive Child Care Program CCCP City of Seattle program that contracts with and provides monitoring and technical assistance to child care vendors who serve families enrolled in the Child Care Assistance Program.
Core Courses   Math, science, reading, writing, and social studies.
Cultural Competence   An ability to understand, communicate with, and effectively interact with people of different cultures/socio-economic backgrounds; requires an awareness of one's own cultural worldview, attitude towards cultural differences, knowledge of different cultural practices, and cross-cultural skills.
Data-Sharing Agreement   Agreement between Seattle Public Schools and OFE to share student data in order to measure progress toward meeting agreed-upon student outcomes, targets, and indicators. It preserves the anonymity of individual student data and assures that identifiable student data is not released inappropriately to third parties.
Department of Neighborhoods DON City of Seattle department that physically houses the Office for Education.
Developmental Reading Assessment DRA Tool administered in kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grades to assess each student's reading skills and progress.
Disaggregated Data   Data that can be looked at by specific subgroups of students (e.g., gender, age, grade, ethnicity, language, etc.).
District Scorecard   A snapshot of the Seattle school district's progress toward its strategic plan milestones (e.g. elementary students at grade level, 6th graders passing all classes, etc.).
Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program ECEAP State program for families earning at or below 110% of the federal poverty level; offers free, part-day, high-quality, culturally and linguistically appropriate preschool services for eligible 3- and 4-year-olds and their families.
Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale ECERS Tool used by Seattle Early Education Cooperative programs to assess the quality of classroom programs for preschool children ages 2-5 and set improvement goals.
Early Learning EL The formal teaching of young children before the age of normal schooling (usually age 5) by people outside the family or in settings outside the home. Also called "early childhood education," "early childhood learning," or "early education."
Early Learning Academy ELA City of Seattle professional development program for educators, and family, friend, and neighbor caregivers to increase their knowledge and skills, and to improve positive outcomes for children.
Early Learning Centers (instead of child care centers)   Centers that provide a formal learning program for children before they enter kindergarten.
Elementary Health Center   Levy-funded school-based health center (SBHC) serving an elementary school with low academic performance and inequities in health access/outcomes. Services may be provided on-site, within community mental health settings, or at middle school SBHCs. SHBCs provide well-child care, management of chronic conditions, minor acute care, teacher consultations, home visits, the coordination of care with the family, and Medicaid access.
Elementary School Innovation Site   A Seattle K-5 school that receives Levy funds to increase the following: collaboration between schools and pre-kindergarten (pre-K) providers, academic supports for students not meeting standards for math or reading or developmental benchmarks, professional development for pre-K–5th grade teachers and administrators, extended in-school learning time, expanded learning opportunities, social/emotional/family support.
End-of-Course Exams EOC Tools that measure students' knowledge in Algebra 1, Integrated Math 1, Geometry, Integrated Math 2, and Biology when they complete each course. They serve as the state’s exit exams for math and science.
English Language Learners ELL A person in the process of acquiring English as a second language. Sometimes also referred to as language minority students, limited English proficient (LEP), English as a second language (ESL), and culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD).
Environmental Rating Scale ERS Tool used to assess aspects of group programs for children 2–5 years of age.
Evidence-Based Practices EBP The process of making decisions for patient care based on a combination of the clinician's experience, education, and skills; the patient's own personal and unique concerns, expectations, and values; and the best research evidence.
Expanded Learning Opportunities ELO Learning opportunities outside the structure of the regular school day or year. ELOs recognize that student learning is important both in and outside of the classroom.
Extended Learning Opportunities Opportunities to acquire knowledge and skills through instruction or study outside the traditional classroom, e.g., apprenticeships, community service, independent study, online courses and internships.
Families and Education Levy FEL A dedicated property tax approved by Seattle voters to help prepare children to be ready for school, improve academic achievement and reduce the achievement gap, and help students complete school. Emphasis is placed on serving struggling students and schools that have traditionally underperformed.
Families, Friends, Neighbor care FFN Most common type of child care for infants, toddlers, and some school-age children before and after school. Providers include grandparents, aunts and uncles, elders, older siblings, friends, neighbors, and others who help families take care of their kids on an informal basis. FFN providers are unlicensed and not regulated by the state, although some can receive subsidies for the care they provide.
Family Centers   Organizations funded by the City of Seattle and possibly others to offer social, educational, and recreational activities for families. Activities target the interests/needs of the community, along with core services: Information, referral and advocacy, parent education/support, parent-child play groups, family activities, training, clothing, food, bus coupons and school supplies.
Family Support Worker Services FSW Services provided by Seattle Public Schools including outreach, crisis intervention, case management, linkages to other community-based social and academic services, and technical assistance.
Federal Poverty Level FPL Term used by the federal government to define who is eligible for certain services based on a family's annual cash income. Guidelines are issued each year by the Department of Health and Human Services. It is different form the poverty threshold estimated by the Census Bureau to report how many Americans live in poverty each year.
Feeder School   A school that provides a significant number of students to another older-level school, e.g., when most students from a middle school are likely to go to a particular high school.
Free and Reduced-Price Lunch FRL Federal lunch program providing cash subsidies and USDA foods to schools. In return, schools must offer federally-approved lunches at free or reduced prices to eligible children. Families with incomes at or below 130% of the Federal Poverty Level receive free meals; 130–185% receive a reduced price (no more than 40 cents); and over 185% pay full price (though their meals are still partially subsidized).
Full-Time Equivalent FTE A unit that indicates the workload of an employed person (or student). A 1.0 FTE indicates a person is the equivalent to a full-time worker; a 0.5 FTE indicates the worker is half-time. FTE is often used to measure a worker's involvement in a project, or to track cost reductions in an organization.
Head Start   A federal program that promotes the school readiness of children ages birth to 5 from low-income families by enhancing their cognitive, social and emotional development. Serves families with incomes below 130% of FPL.
High School Proficiency Exam HSPE Comprehensive Washington State exams that measure the basic proficiency of high school students in reading and writing and serve as the state’s exit exams in those subjects.
High School Summer Learning   Same as Middle School Summer Learning, but includes college readiness assessment and an opportunity for students to make up missing credits to remain on track for graduation.
Higher Education Coordinating Board HECB A former Washington state agency with 10-member citizen board to improve higher education. In July 2012 its duties were transferred to the new cabinet-level Washington Student Achievement Council.
Home Visiting Program   Family-focused services to expectant parents and families with new babies and young children. Home visits are designed to promote maternal, infant, and early childhood health; safety and development; and strong parent-child relationships.
Human Services Department HSD City of Seattle department responsible for aging and disability services, community support and self-sufficiency, transitional living and support, and youth development and achievement.
Indicators   OFE uses performance measures to determine the impact of Levy-funded strategies on students. “Outcomes” measure progress toward the overall Levy goals. “Indicators” serve as supporting measures and assess progress toward the outcomes. (Example: Outcome = students promote on-time to 10th grade; Indicator=students have fewer than 5 absences 1st semester.)
Individualized Education Program IEP A written plan defining the individualized objectives of a child with a disability in order to help him/her reach educational goals more easily. IEPs must be tailored to the student's needs and should describe how the student learns, how he best demonstrates that learning, and what teachers and service providers will do to help him learn more effectively in the least restrictive environment possible. An IEP is meant to ensure that students receive an appropriate placement, not "only" special education classrooms or special schools.
Information Session   Meeting conducted by OFE following the release of a Request for Proposal or Request for Investment to review the application, provide general information, and answer participants' questions.
Innovation School   A school serving a large population of at-risk students that receives Levy funding to support math, reading, passing core courses, attendance, and/or English language acquisition through extended in-school learning time, social/emotional/behavioral support, and family involvement strategies among others.
Interagency Health Services   School-based health services for students at Seattle's Interagency school. When possible, Interagency students receive physical health assessment and behavioral, social, emotional health screening as part of the intake and enrollment process.
Kindergarten Readiness Guidelines   Guidelines for conducting culturally and linguistically competent assessments of Seattle preschool children in five domains: 1) cognitive and general knowledge, 2) language, literacy, and communication, 3) physical health, wellbeing, and motor development, and 4) social and emotional development, and 5) approaches to learning.
Kindergarten Transition   A five-step process to help children transition from preschool to kindergarten: 1) outreach by district staff during the preschool year to preschool teachers/administrators, and families; 2) individualized group sessions at preschool and elementary sites during the preschool year with ongoing math and reading activities; 3) child referrals at the end of preschool to the Family Support Worker program; 4) continuation of math and reading activities at elementary sites during 1st semester; and 5) ongoing sessions with families, preschool and kindergarten staff.
Learning Assistance Program LAP State-funded program providing academic support to students achieving below grade level on the state’s assessment, and 11th and 12th grade students at risk of not graduating. Funds are available to support K-12 programs in reading, writing, mathematics, and readiness.
Level 1, 2, 3, 4   A student’s performance on the MSP, HSPE and EOC tests is reported using “scale scores” to place students into levels—1: Below Basic (not meeting standard); 2: Basic (not meeting standard); 3: Proficient (meets state standard); 4: Advanced (exceeds state standard).
Levy Advisory Committee/Levy Planning Committee LAC/LPC A committee created as a part of the Families and Education Levy Oversight Committee in April 2010 by City Council Resolution 31206. This committee submitted a proposal to the City Council for the renewal of the Families and Education Levy on the 2011 ballot.
Levy Investments   Money collected through the Families and Education Levy to fund programs to improve school outcomes for Seattle's youth.
Levy Oversight Committee LOC Twelve-member committee established by City Ordinance 123567 to review and advise on plans for implementing and evaluating the Seattle Families and Education Levy.
Levy Planning Committee/Levy Advisory Committee LPC/LAC A committee created as a part of the Families and Education Levy Oversight Committee in April 2010 by City Council Resolution 31206. This committee, which includes the 12-member Levy Oversight Committee and 12 additional citizen members, submitted a proposal to the City Council to renewal of the Families and Education Levy on the 2011 ballot.
Linkage Middle School   Seattle Public Schools middle or K-8 schools serving a smaller concentration of at-risk students than Innovation schools. All Seattle Public School middle schools are eligible to become a Linkage school with award amounts dependent upon the school's composition. Linkage schools target their Levy investments to one or two foci (math, reading, passing core courses, attendance, or English language acquisition) at most.
Measurements of Student Progress MSP Tests used in Washington State in grades 3-8 to determine whether students are meeting grade level standards. These tests replace the Washington Assessment of Student Learning (WASL).
Measures of Academic Progress MAP Assessment system used by SPS to determine a student's progress during the year, and across years, in reading and math. Measures the student's growth from a fall baseline to winter and spring.
Memorandum of Agreement MOA A document written between parties to cooperate on an agreed-upon project or meet an agreed objective. Its purpose is to have a written understanding of the agreement between parties laying out the ground rules of a positive cooperative effort.
Memorandum of Understanding MOU A document describing an agreement between two or more parties indicating an intended common line of action; often used where parties either do not imply a legal commitment or in situations where the parties cannot create a legally enforceable agreement.
Middle School Innovation Site   A Seattle school with a large concentration of low-performing 6th-8th graders that receive Levy funds to develop interventions to address academic/social/emotional/behavioral and health barriers using extended in-school learning time, out-of-school time programs, college and career planning, and family involvement.
Middle School Linkage Sites   A Seattle middle or kindergarten–8 school that receives Levy funds to extend in-school learning time, address non-academic barriers (social / emotional, behavioral, health, attendance) to learning and school success, or provide out-of-school time programs for students who are performing below grade level.
Nova High School Nova A state-authorized Alternative Learning Experience (ALE) school. Student learning is non-graded, competency-based, relying on student application of learning and performance-based assessment. Students choose their classes and are directly involved in creating their schedules.
Office for Education OFE Office formed in 1991 by Ordinance 115498 to manage and report on the use of Levy funds and on outcomes achieved by Levy investments.
Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction OSPI The primary agency charged with overseeing kindergarten-12 public education in Washington state. OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts to administer basic education programs and implement education reform.
Oral Health   Mobile and/or school-based dental services at schools with existing Levy health investments.
Outcome Funding Framework   A method used to evaluate programs that encourages funders to think like investors and focus on the results they are purchasing with less emphasis on service activities. Program managers focus on performance targets defined in terms of client changes gained.
Outcomes   OFE uses performance measures to determine the impact of Levy-funded strategies on students. “Outcomes” measure progress toward the overall Levy goals. “Indicators” serve as supporting measures and assess progress toward the outcomes. (Example: Outcome= students promote on-time to 10th grade; Indicator=students have fewer than 5 absences 1st semester.)
Out-of-School Time/Expanded Learning Opportunities OST/ELO Learning opportunities outside the structure of the regular school day or year. OST/ELOs recognize that student learning is important both in and outside of the classroom.
Parent and Child Together PACT A tool used by the Parent-Child Home Program to assess parent-child interactions and behavior. The assessment is given 3 times per year.
Parent-Child Home Program PCHP A home visiting program for low-income families with young children ages 2 and 3 not enrolled in formal early learning programs. The program helps parents learn literacy skills to practice with their children through a minimum of 46 home visits/year.
Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test PPVT Tool to measure verbal ability in standard American English vocabulary; can measure receptive processing from ages 2 to over 90.
Poverty Guidelines   The poverty guidelines are issued each year by the federal Department of Health and Human Services. The guidelines are a simplification of the poverty thresholds used for administrative purposes, e.g., determining financial eligibility for certain federal programs.
Prekindergarten preK A classroom-based learning environment for children ages 3-5; once known as nursery school.
Professional development   Training to build skills and knowledge for both personal development and career advancement.
Professional Development for Early Learning Educators   Training, coaching/mentoring, and coursework for preK, birth-3 teachers, family child care and families/friends/neighbors caregivers designed to increase the effectiveness of preschool teachers, the leadership of principals and directors, and the support of parents and other adult care-givers in guiding children's positive developments.
Public Health – Seattle & King County PHSKC Public agency that works to track and prevent disease and other threats, regulate dangerous environmental and workplace exposures; and ensure safe water, air and food. Promotes health and preventing chronic conditions and injuries and helps assure access to high-quality health care for all populations. PHSKC coordinates the health care services provided at Levy-funded school-based health centers.
Quality Improvement Plan QIP A plan to improve the quality of services an organization delivers. The plan outlines the areas to be improved, the aim or desired outcome of the improvement, barriers to accomplishing those aims, tasks, responsible party(ies), resources in-hand/needed, how improvement will be measured, and timeline/benchmarks.
Refugee Impact Grant   Funding from the US Department of Health & Human Services for activities to integrate and educate refugee children. State and state-alternative programs may receive funds to support impacted school districts' services for school-age refugees.
Request for Investment RFI A process OFE uses to competitively award Levy funds for early learning programs, to improve academic outcomes for specific groups of students, and to provide health services. Applicants are asked to identify the results they expect to achieve for students and the means and methods used.
Request for Program Information RFPI Form developed by OFE for agencies submitting Requests for Qualifications (RFQ) that outlines basic information about the clients they serve, the services they offer, and the results they have achieved.
Request for Qualifications RFQ OFE uses an RFQ process to identify community organizations that will be approved to partner with schools and receive Levy funds. Applicants respond to specific questions in the RFQ regarding their experience in improving academic outcomes for target populations. The RFQ process itself does not award any Levy funds.
Road Map Project   Community-wide effort aimed at improving education to drive dramatic improvement in student achievement from cradle to college and career in South King County and South Seattle.
Road Map to Success Road Map Model developed in Seattle that identifies milestone in a child's life considered key to academic success, e.g., reading by the end of 3rd grade, promoting on-time to 10th grade, etc.
School Readiness   Children who have mastered the skills that are widely expected of students as they enter kindergarten are considered "school ready."
School Readiness Standard   Expectations of where a child should be developmentally in multiple domains when entering kindergarten. In Seattle, these are measured by Teaching Strategies Gold at the end of preschool, or the WaKIDS assessment within the first six weeks of kindergarten.
School-Based Health Center SBHC Levy-funded centers in Seattle's 10 comprehensive high schools, the Interagency School, the Seattle World School, and 5 elementary schools that promote student health. SBHCs provide comprehensive primary health care (medical and mental) for adolescent students, screenings, health assessments, and interventions that focus on students academically at risk.
Seattle Early Education Collaborative SEEC A collaborative effort to enhance the City of Seattle’s early learning investments, including Step Ahead and the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program working with Head Start, Comprehensive Child Care Programs, and other child development agencies. Collaboration includes leveraging resources, creating formalized systems, and using common assessment tools. SEEC's three working groups focus on assessment and accountability, professional development, and transitions.
Seattle Municipal Code SMC A compilation of the general and permanent ordinances of the City of Seattle (excluding City law contained in the building, fire, electrical, mechanical, and boiler codes).
Seattle Public Schools SPS Also called the Seattle School District, SPS is the largest public school district in Washington state. It serves the entire city of Seattle, operating 91 schools serving approximately 47,000 students in 2012.
Seattle School District   See Seattle Public Schools
Seattle World School SWS Formerly Secondary Bilingual Orientation Center (SBOC). A culturally diverse Seattle public school founded in 1980 and dedicated to supporting newcomer students in an orientation setting, and high school students who are English Language Learners studying towards graduation. Some students come with extensive schooling, needing only English proficiency and cultural orientation; others have never before attended school. Over 300 students speaking over 30 languages and dialects attend annually.
SEEC Kindergarten Readiness Guidelines   Guidelines designed to be culturally relevant for determining children's readiness for kindergarten in 5 areas: cognitive and general knowledge; language, literacy and communication; physical development; social and emotional development; and approaches to learning. Each area includes goals, suggested activities, and indicators of the skills and knowledge children need to be successful when they enter kindergarten.
Segmentation   The grouping of schools by performance (Level 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5) in order to monitor school progress toward district-wide goals and target support where needed. Scores are based on how a school performed compared to the year's district-wide goal and growth in student achievement from the previous year.
Standards Based Grading   A method of grading students that is based on their proficiency on well-defined course objectives, rather than other parameters such as homework completion, attendance, behavior, extra credit, etc.
Step Ahead Preschool Program Step Ahead or SA Levy-funded program offering free or low-cost, full- or part-day, culturally and linguistically appropriate preschool slots for eligible (families earning 110%–300% of the federal poverty level) 4-year-olds not served by Head Start or the Early Childhood Education and Assistance program.
Summer Learning SL Levy-supported summer learning provides struggling students with extra learning time during the summer to catch up with their peers, reduce summer learning loss, and provide a safe place to go in summer. Programs include academic and enrichment components and may include service learning projects or internships.
Teacher Rating of Oral Language TROLL Section of the Parent-Child Home Program assessment tool that uses research-based standards for speaking and listening in preschool through 3rd grade. It includes specific recommendations for teachers about beneficial conversation habits, useful kinds of talk such as narratives and explanations, and language conventions relative to early childhood.
Teaching Strategies GOLD® TSG or TS Gold An observation-based assessment system used to document children's development from birth-kindergarten; can be used with all children, including English Language Learners, children with disabilities, and children who exceed typical developmental expectations. TSG is being incorporated into the Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills (WaKIDS) program.
Teen Health Centers   Comprehensive primary care clinics providing medical and mental health screening and treatment for young people on or near school grounds.
Title I School   A school with a large concentration of students enrolled in the free and reduced-price lunch program and eligible to receive supplemental funds to help meet students' educational goals. For an entire school to qualify for Title 1 funds, at least 40% of students must enroll in the free and reduced-price lunch program.
Title III Funds   A federal grant program to improve education for Limited English Proficient (LEP) children and immigrant youth. The Act states that LEP students must not only attain English proficiency but simultaneously meet the same academic standards as their English-speaking peers in all content areas
Title IV Funds   A federal grant program to improve education; covers the administration of U.S. federal student financial aid programs.
To be determined TBD Common abbreviation for "to be determined."
Transitional Bilingual Instructional Program funding TBIP The Migrant and Bilingual Education office within the state Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction oversees state and federal programs that help migrant students and youth in our state meet academic challenges. TBIP and Title III provide funds to local education agencies to ensure equal educational opportunities for students whose primary language is other than English.
Washington English Language Proficiency Assessment WELPA Tool adopted in 2011 to determine initial English language levels and student eligibility for English Language Learner (ELL) services, and to determine whether students have gained sufficient proficiency to no longer need to continue ELL services.
Washington Kindergarten Inventory of Developmental Skills WaKIDS A process for obtaining a snapshot of where Washington state children are developmentally at the start of kindergarten. Gathers information through: 1) a teacher-family meeting re languages spoken in the home, family members, and a child's likes, dislikes, strengths and worries; 2) an assessment of the child's social and emotional development, cognition and general knowledge, language, communication and literacy, physical well-being, health and motor development; 3) meetings between teacher/early learning professionals to coordinate children's transition to kindergarten.
Washington State Early Learning Guidelines   Statewide resource providing information about children’s development including practical strategies for children at different stages of growth, and suggestions for where to go and who to ask for additional information.
Washington Student Achievement Council   State agency established in July 2012 to provide strategic planning, oversight and advocacy to support increased student success and higher levels of educational attainment in Washington.
Youth and Families Initiative YFI A 2010 initiative launched by former Mayor Mike McGinn to improve outcomes for youth within six action areas: education, health, neighborhood safety, race and social justice, strong neighborhoods, and youth development.
Youth and Families Initiative Subcabinet   A group convened at least once a month by former Mayor Mike McGinn with members of the various departments. It dealt with the Initiative's six priority areas: education, health, neighborhood safety, race and social justice, youth development, and strong neighborhoods.