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The ABC's of school acronyms

How well do you know the acronyms commonly used in discussions about your child’s education? Does it make you crazy when people use abbreviations instead of spelling out exactly what they are talking about? You are left standing there trying to put whole words to each letter while the conversation just kind of passes you by.

Whether at a BOE or PTA meeting or at a neighborhood cocktail party, if you hear that a PBL project in your child’s classroom will use STEM or STEAM, you might decide impulsively to feign that you are HI or have adult ADD! Either way, you have to walk away so as not to reveal your ignorance on the educational lingo. Don’t despair; you can avoid ED with the help of AIS. You can learn to decipher these insider terms! First, as in any sound AIP we have to assess what you already know.

Try to identify the 10 terms used in the paragraph above, as well as the 10 terms below. Score 5 points for each correct answer. If you score between 80 percent and 100 percent, you are good to go; a score between 60 percent to 75 percent will get you a remedial plan; and a score under 70 percent will get you referred for further testing.

• APPR and SLO are among the hottest new acronyms being tossed about today.

• CST, CSE, and IEP are compatible terms sharing a similar focus.

• CIA does not refer to a government agency.

• ADHD can apply to children and adults alike.

• ELA and ESL have two words in common.

• SED is the source of all New York State educational acronyms, and, no, it doesn’t stand for Stop Eating Doughnuts.

Here is your best defense against pretentious acronyms. When someone rattles a set of initials off the tongue, interrupt and ask for clarification before allowing the speaker to continue. Just politely say, "Excuse me but I am ACINOR – Acronym Challenged In Need of Femediation."

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