Glossary of Terms - A

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Academic Achievement Record (AAR) (Historial de desempeño académico– Also known as a transcript, this is an official and permanent record of the student’s academic performance in high school.  Families have a right to a copy of the AAR.  For more information, see 19 TAC §74.14

Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS) (Sistema de indicadores de excelencia académica) – Now known as the Texas Academic Performance Reports  (TAPR), this reporting system pulls together a wide range of information annually on the performance of students in each school and district in Texas.  The reports, available back to the 1993-94 school year, provide extensive information on staff, programs and demographics for each school and district.

Access to the General Curriculum (Acceso al currículo general) – Under IDEA, students with disabilities must have the opportunity to learn and be tested (assessed) on the same curriculum as that provided to students without disabilities.  In Texas, the General Curriculum is the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).  By using a range of instructional strategies based on the varied strengths and needs of students, teachers ensure that students work towards grade level content standards (TEKS).

Accommodations (Adaptaciones– Practices and procedures that allow students with disabilities to learn, have access to, and be tested on the same curriculum as students without disabilities. Accommodations do not change what the student is expected to learn but rather how he or she learns the curriculum.  Providing accommodations during instruction and assessment may also promote equal access to the general curriculum.  See Accommodation Resources for links to TEA's annually published accommodations manual.

Adapted Physical Education (Educación física con adaptaciones) – A physical education (PE) program developed for students with disabilities who are not able to participate in the regular PE program with accommodations or modifications.

Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) (Progreso anual adecuado– On September 30, 2013, the Texas Education Agency secured a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education for specific provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), commonly known as the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001. One of the key changes in the NCLB waiver is the elimination of the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) designation. This change is not necessarily permanent. All aspects of the waiver are subject to revision or revocation.

Adult Student (Estudiante adulto) – A student over the age of 18 is considered an adult unless a parent or other person has been granted guardianship or other legal alternative.

Alternative Education Programs (AEP) (Programas educativos alternativos) – Disciplinary settings for students who have committed an offense of the state law or the student code of conduct.  AEPs operated by the school district are called Disciplinary Alternative Education Programs (DAEP). Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Programs (JJAEP) are operated by the juvenile justice system. Students with disabilities who are placed in AEPs are entitled to special education supports and services.

 Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) (Ley de 1990 sobre estadounidenses con discapacidades) – A civil rights law that protects individuals with disabilities from discrimination and calls for the elimination of barriers in the workplace, schools and other settings.

Anecdotal records (Expedientes anecdóticos) - An informal, written record (usually positive in tone), based on the observations of the teacher, of a student's progress and/or activities which occur throughout the day.

Annual Federal Data Report (Informe Federal Anual de Datos) – Data collected on students with disabilities in Texas and submitted to the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) on an annual basis.

 Annual Goals (Metas anuales) – An individualized education program must include a statement of measurable annual goals, including academic and functional goals, designed to meet the child’s needs to enable the child to be involved in and make progress in the general education curriculum; and meet each of the child’s other educational needs that result from the disability.  The goals reflect what the ARD committee believes the child can reasonably accomplish in a year.

Annual Performance Report (APR) (Informe anual del desempeño) - Comprehensive report compiled annually by the State education agency and submitted to the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) for a variety of purposes, including ongoing monitoring of the implementation of Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  

ARD Committee (Admission, Review and Dismissal) (Comité de ARD (Admisión, repaso y retiro) – In Texas, the name for the IEP Team made up of a student’s parents and school staff who meet at least annually to:

  • decide whether or not the student has an eligible disability,
  • determine what special education and related services will be provided, and 
  • develop an individual education program (IEP).

For more information, see the Commissioner’s Rules Guidance on ARD committee.

ARD Meeting (Admission, Review, and Dismissal) (Reunión ARD (Admisión, repaso y retiro) -  Annual review of a student’s special education program that includes an update of the student’s progress, a review of the current Individualized Education Plan (IEP), and development of a new IEP for the upcoming year.  (See ARD Committee).

AskTED (Directorio AskTED) – Online directory that provides current organizational and mailing information for Texas public schools (including charter schools and Texas state agency schools), school districts and regional education service centers. 

Assessment (Evaluación) – Tests given to all students to evaluate learning. The most common statewide assessment in Texas is the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®), which replaced the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) in spring 2012.  Students with disabilities take the same statewide assessment as all other students, unless the ARD Committee determines that the student will use an alternate assessment tool.

Assistive Technology (Tecnología de adaptación) – Any item, piece of equipment, or product system used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of a person with a disability. Common examples of assistive technology include, but are not limited to, computer keyboards with large keys, communication boards, electronic communication devices, and books on tape. The term does not include a medical device that is surgically implanted, or the replacement of that device.  Learn more from the Texas Assistive Technology Network.

Auditory Impairment (AI) (Impedimento auditivo) – As defined by the IDEA, auditory impairment means deafness or hearing impairment.  Deafness is defined as a hearing impairment that is so severe that the child is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification that adversely affects the child’s educational performance.  A Hearing impairment is an impairment, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects the child’s educational performance but that is not included under the definition of deafness. A determination of auditory impairment must comply with the criteria set forth in the federal and state law as described in the Auditory Impairment Framework of the Legal Framework for the Child-Centered Process.  Visit the Crossroads website for information on Deaf Education in Texas.

Autism (AU) (Autismo) – As defined by the IDEA, autism is “a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age three, that adversely affects a child's educational performance.  Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences.”  Autism does not apply if a child’s educational performance is adversely affected primarily because the child has an emotional disturbance.  A determination of autism must comply with the criteria set forth in the federal and state law as described in the Autism Framework of the Legal Framework for the Child-Centered Process,   Learn more about autism at the Texas Statewide Leadership for Autism site.

Autism Supplement (Suplemento sobre el autismo) – The Commissioners Rules (TAC 89.1055(e) lists 11 strategies that must be considered when developing an education program for a student with autism.  Schools are not required to implement every strategy for each student with autism, but should consider the strategies based on individual student need.  For more information on the 11 strategies, please see the Commissioner’s Rule Related to Autism - TAC89.1055(e).


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