504/Section 504 – Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a civil rights statute that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education.

504 Plan – Individualized accommodation plan developed in accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  This is NOT the same as an Individualized Education Plan under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act.

ABA – Applied Behavioral Analysis “is a systematic approach for influencing socially important behavior through the identification of reliably related environmental variables and the production of behavior change techniques that make use of those findings.”  Behavior Analyst Certification Board, July 6, 2017, http://bacb.com/about-behavior-analysis/

AT – Assistive Technology or Assistive Technology Device “means any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of a child with a disability. The term does not include a medical device that is surgically implanted, or the replacement of such device.”  34 CFR 300.5

BCBA – Board Certified Behavior Analyst means “graduate level certification in behavior analysis.”  Behavior Analyst Certification Board, July 6, 2017, http://bacb.com/bcba/

BIP – Behavior Intervention Plan generally refers to the plan that is developed when a child has behaviors that impede the child’s learning or that of others and must include “positive behavioral interventions and supports.”  Guidance by the Connecticut State Department of Education states that a “behavior intervention plan (BIP) considers the data gathered through an individual’s functional behavior assessment (FBA) and employs that data to create a plan of action toward changing and improving that individual’s behavior.”  Connecticut State Department of Education, Guidelines for Identifying and Education Students with Emotional Disturbance, November 2012, p 80-83.

Due Process means a formal administrative hearing before a hearing officer designated by the State Department of Education to resolve disputes between parents and school districts.  Such hearings are required under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and state law.  These are formal hearings where sworn testimony and evidence are presented to the Hearing Officer who then makes a decision.  Both parents and the school may be represented by an attorney.

ED – Emotional Disturbance is an eligibility category under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, defined as follows: “a condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects a child’s educational performance: (A) An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors. (B) An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers. (C) Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances. (D) A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression. (E) A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.”  The law also states that the term emotional disturbance includes schizophrenia but does not include children who are “socially maladjusted.”  34 CFR 300.8(c)(4).

ESY – Extended School Year or Extended School Year Services usually means special education and related services provided during the summer.  The legal definition is “special education and related services that (1) Are provided to a child with a disability— (i) Beyond the normal school year of the public agency; (ii) In accordance with the child’s IEP; and (iii) At no cost to the parents of the child; and (2) Meet the standards of the SEA. 34 CFR 300.106 (Federal regulations implementing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act).  See this important topic brief from the Connecticut State Department of Education

FAPE – Free Appropriate Public Education is defined under the regulations of the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act as: “special education and related services that (A) have been provided at public expense, under public supervision and direction, and without charge; (B) meet the standards of the State educational agency; (C) include an appropriate preschool, elementary school, or secondary school education in the State involved; and (D) are provided in conformity with the individualized education program IEP) that meets the requirements” under the IDEA regulations.  34 C.F.R. 300.17.  While the precise substantive meaning of this definition continues to evolve through court interpretation, the United States Supreme Court famously concluded that “the ‘basic floor of opportunity’ provided by the Act consists of access to specialized instruction and related services which are individually designed to provide educational benefit to the handicapped child.”  Board of Education of Hendrick Hudson Central School District v. Rowley, 458 U.S. 176, 201 (1982).   In 2017, the United States Supreme Court again addressed the question in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District, 137 S.Ct. 988 (2017).  The Court clarified that schools must “offer an IEP reasonably calculated to enable a child to make progress appropriate in light of the child’s circumstances.”  Endrew, 137 S.Ct. at 999.

FBA – Functional Behavior Assessment means “a process of gathering and analyzing data in an effort to determine what function an exhibited behavior may be serving for a child. . . .A comprehensive FBA process is the foundation on which a behavior intervention plan (BIP) is created.” See this sample form from the Connecticut State Department of Education.

FWSNFamily with Service Needs is the term of a complaint filed in the Superior Court for Juvenile Matters which alleges that a child is truant, defiant of school rules, or out of control of his/her parents (has run away, is beyond control, is engaged in immoral conduct, or is 13 years old or older and has had sexual intercourse with another person and the other person is 13 years old or older and not more than two years older or younger than the child.  You can find the Parental Notice form from the Superior Court for Juvenile Matters here.

IDEAIndividuals with Disabilities Education Act is a federal law that requires state and local education agencies to provide children with disabilities with a free appropriate public education (FAPE).

IEP – Individualized Education Plan – This is the document, required by IDEA, that describes the educational program for a student who is eligible to receive special education services.  The IEP must include a statement of the child’s present levels of academic achievement and functional performance, measurable annual goals, a description of how progress toward meeting the annual goals will be measured and when periodic reports of progress will be provided, a statement of the special education, related services, and supplementary aids and service, a statement of program modifications or supports for school personnel that will be provided, and an explanation of the extent to which the child will be educated and participate with peers with and without disabilities.  For more detail, see 34 C.F.R. 300.320.  In Connecticut, the State Department of Education has issued an IEP form and a helpful guide to understanding the IEP form.

ID – Intellectual Disability generally means significant limitation in intellectual function (existing prior to the age of 18) along with deficits in adaptive behaviors.

IEE – Independent Educational Evaluation is an evaluation conducted by a qualified examiner who is not employed by the public agency (school) responsible for the education of the child.  Parents have the right to request an IEE when the parent disagrees with the school’s evaluation.  For more information on the right to an IEE in Connecticut, see this memo from the Connecticut State Department of Education.

ISS – In School Suspension is “the exclusion from regular classroom activity for no more than ten consecutive school days, but not exclusion