Glossary of Terms

  • Assistant Principal – An assistant principal is designated by a Superintendent as next-in-line of authority to the school principal and holds a principal’s license.  Under special circumstances, a local board of education may employ an assistant principal with a provisional license.

    Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) – Information regulated by the Criminal History Systems Board and maintained by the Board of Probation regarding criminal information of persons within the Massachusetts Court System.  Any person seeking employment or volunteering in Falmouth Public Schools must fill out a CORI application.

    English Language Development (ELD) – State law requires that English Language Learners (ELLs) receive instruction that is specifically designed to assist them in learning the English language and subject matter content and that parent/guardian participate in the decision-making process.  When a student enrolls in Falmouth Public Schools, the district will determine whether the student is an English Language Learner and the student will be placed in an appropriate instructional setting to support content and language learning.

    Electronic Devices - Falmouth Public Schools understands the value of using various electronic devices for instructional purposes to enhance our students’ learning and educational opportunities. The school district may provide students with electronic devices for use during the school day. In addition, students may be asked to use their own electronic devices. The use of these devices will be for educational purposes and may not interfere with instruction. The taking, filming, or transmitting photographic or digital images of any person on school grounds without their permission is prohibited. The inappropriate use of technology may results in disciplinary measures as well as the confiscation of the device.

    Individualized Education Program (IEP) – An IEP is a written plan developed for a student that identifies that student’s special educational needs and describes the services, modifications, and accommodations a school district shall provide to meet those needs.

    Inclusion - Inclusion is a term that expresses commitment to educate each child, to the maximum extent appropriate, in the school and classroom the student would otherwise attend. It involves bringing the support services to the child (rather than moving the child to the services) and requires only that the child will benefit from being in the class (rather than having to keep up with the other students).

    Instructional Support Team – A professional team of teachers and specialists whose goals are to maximize individual student success, while at the same time serving as a screening process for students who may be in need of special education services.

    Language Based Learning Center (LBLC) – A multi-modality special education program for children with language processing disabilities.

    Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) – The Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) was implemented in response to the Education Reform Law of 1993.

    Parent/Teacher Organization (PTO) – A group of parents/guardians that supports a school and teachers by volunteer work and fundraising events.

    Principal - A principal is designated by a Superintendent as the head of a school. To receive State funding for a principal, a school must have 100 or more students in average daily membership (ADM) and/or seven or more full-time state paid teachers (or the equivalent). A principal must hold a principal’s license.

    School Adjustment Counselor - The school adjustment counselor’s role is to help children experiencing short or long-term crises, which impact their ability to learn and participate in the full range of school activities. Adjustment counselors work using a child-centered approach, with teachers, administrators, family members, and in some cases, agencies to bring about solutions through a wide range of strategies.

    School Committee - The School Committee is responsible for overseeing the local public schools. Elected by the voters of the town, members appoint the Superintendent, approve the budget, negotiate union contracts, and set policies for the public schools in the district.

    School Council - A school council is a representative, school building-based committee composed of the principal, parents, guardians, teachers, community members and, at the secondary level, students, required to be established by each school under Massachusetts General Laws and operates under Massachusetts opening meeting laws. Teachers, parents, guardians, and community members can become more committed to improving the schools and more supportive of the public school system when they enjoy the opportunity to serve or be represented on a school council that has a role in shaping the policies and programs of the school. School councils enhance site-based decision making because they expand the participation of the school community in its schools' decision making. The involvement of different groups on the council provides the school with different and mutually complementary perspectives on its improvement goals and plans. In addition, by involving people who work in and support the school in the development of the school's improvement plan, the likelihood will increase that the plan will be successfully implemented. School councils are to assist principals in adopting educational goals for the school that are consistent with local educational policies and statewide student performance standards, identifying the educational needs of students attending the school reviewing the annual school building budget and formulating a school improvement plan.

    Special Education Parent’s Advisory Council (SEPAC) - A group of parents, guardians, professionals and administration in a shared effort to understand, respect, and support appropriate education for all children with special needs in our community.

    Special Education Building Administrator (SEBA) - A building-based administrator responsible for the oversight of special education programming within the school. This person may sometimes assume the role of the assistant principal.

    Speech/Language - The capacity to use expressive and/or receptive language. If a student has communication impairment, the student would have difficulties in one or more of the following areas- speech, such as articulation and/or voice; conveying, understanding, or using spoken, written, or symbolic language. The term communication impairment may include a student with impaired articulation, stuttering, language impairment, or voice impairment if such impairment adversely affects the student’s educational performance.

    Superintendent of Schools - The Superintendent of Schools is responsible for the actual administration of the schools in the district. The powers and duties of the Superintendent are prescribed by the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. The Superintendent is appointed by the School Committee.

    The Learning Center (TLC) - A special education program for children and students with developmental delays and/or intellectual impairment which coordinates academic, communication, and personal-social activities tailored to meet the needs of the individual children. The key to this program is the specialized teacher who manages an array of specialized strategies and activities both separately and in the mainstream to increase the student’s independence and success with individualized learning goals.