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.
FWSN – Family 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.
IDEA – Individuals 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 from school, provided such exclusion shall not extend beyond the end of the school year in which in-school suspension was imposed.” Connecticut General Statutes §10-233a.
LD – Learning Disability – See Specific Learning Disability.
MDR/MD – Manifestation Determination Review is a meeting, a PPT in Connecticut, that must be held within 10 school days of any decision to change the placement of a child with a disability for disciplinary reasons. The team must determine whether the conduct for which the student is being disciplined is a manifestation of the child’s disability (meaning that it is “caused by, or had a direct and substantial relationship to, the child’s disability” or a result of the school’s “failure to implement the IEP”). If the behavior is a manifestation of the child’s disability, the child must be returned to his or her placement (with few exceptions). See 34 C.F.R. 300.530 and the Note on Manifestation Determination on page 84 from the Connecticut State Department of Education’s Guidelines for Identifying and Education Students with Emotional Disturbance.
OCR – Office of Civil Rights is a federal office whose stated mission is to “ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence throughout the nation through vigorous enforcement of civil rights.” Find more information here.
OHI – Other Health Impaired is a category of eligibility under IDEA that means “having limited strength, vitality, or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment that (i) is due to chronic or acute health problems such as asthma, attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, epilepsy, a heart condition, hemophilia, lead poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, sickle cell anemia, and Tourette syndrome and (ii) adversely affects a child’s educational performance.” See 34 C.F.R. 300.8(c)(9).
OSEP – Office of Special Education Programs, under the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), “is charged with developing, communicating and disseminating federal policy on early intervention services to infants and toddlers with disabilities and on the provision of special education and related services for children with disabilities.” See their policy guidance here.
OSERS – Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services is a federal agency whose stated mission is “[t]o improve early childhood, educational, and employment outcomes and raise expectations for all people with disabilities, their families, their communities, and the nation.”
OSS – Out of School Suspension is an “exclusion from school privileges or from transportation services only for no more than ten consecutive school days, provided such exclusion shall not extend beyond the end of the school year in which the suspension was imposed.” Connecticut General Statutes §10-233a.
OT – Occupational Therapy is, under the IDEA, a service “provided by a qualified occupational therapist that includes improving, developing, or restoring functions impaired or lost through illness, injury, or deprivation; improving the ability to perform tasks for independent functioning if functions are impaired or lost; and preventing, through early intervention, initial or further impairment or loss of function.” It is a “related service” under the IDEA. 34 C.F.R. 300.34.
PPT – Planning and Placement Team is the Connecticut name for the IEP (Individualized Education Program) Team that is the legally required group of individuals responsible for developing, reviewing or revising an IEP for a child with a disability. 34 C.F.R. 300.23. The team must include the parents; at least one regular education teacher; at least one special education teacher; a representative of the school who is qualified to provide or supervise specially designed instruction, is knowledgeable about the general education curriculum, and is knowledgeable about the availability of resources of the school; an individual who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results; and at the discretion of the parent or school, other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the child; and the child when appropriate. 34 C.F.R. 300.321
PT – Physical Therapy means, under the IDEA, services provided by a qualified physical therapist. It is a “related service” under the IDEA. 34 C.F.R. 300.34
SDE – State Department of Education refers to the Connecticut State Department of Education, which is responsible for supervision of elementary and secondary education.
SLD – Specific Learning Disability means, under the IDEA, a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. See 34 C.F.R. 300.8(c)(10).
SRBI – Scientific Research Based Interventions, according to the Connecticut State Department of Education, “emphasize successful instruction for all students through high‐quality core general education practices, as well as targeted interventions for students experiencing learning, social‐emotional or behavioral difficulties.” Connecticut State Department of Education. Using Scientific Research Based Interventions: Improving Education for All Students: Connecticut’s Framework for RTI. 2008. Web. July 6, 2017.
RTI – Response to Intervention “is the practice of providing scientific, research‐based instruction and intervention matched to students’ needs, with important educational decisions based on students’ levels of performance and learning rates over time (NASDSE, 2005).” Connecticut State Department of Education. Using Scientific Research Based Interventions: Improving Education for All Students: Connecticut’s Framework for RTI. 2008. Web. July 6, 2017.