In our glossary we have provided some of the key terms that you might hear during the application process. We suggest that you familiarize yourself with this page before completing your short answer questions, and while preparing for each stage of the application process.
Assessment - a way for a teacher to gain evidence of student learning. Assessments are often delivered as written or verbal tests, and are used to determine student academic achievement as compared to learning goals and/or standards.
Equity - the quality of being fair and just. Equity is not the same as equality; rather, equity means providing students with the supports needed to level the playing field and ensure all students from all backgrounds have the chance to be academically successful. Excellent teachers drive equity in education through high expectations and comprehensive support for students.
Free or Reduced-Price Lunch (FRPL) - if a student's family income is below a specified level, the student is eligible to receive school meals at either a reduced price or for free. The enrollment of students in FRPL programs are often used to detemihne if schools have high proportions of low-income students and are eligible for supplemental federal/state funding and/or targeted programs.
High-Need School - there are various characteristics that we identify in order to classify a school as high need. These characteristics include (but are not limited to):
- a large percentage of the student population is living in poverty
- the student body contains a larger than average proportion of students with special needs (including students with disabilities and English Language Learners)
- the school has been historically hard to staff and often faces teacher shortages
- the school poses geographical challenges for staff (may be far away from public transportation, have limited or no parking)
- the school is facing funding shortages or major budget cuts
- the school faces issues related to safety, discipline, and/or very large student/teacher ratios
Low-Income - refers to students or families living at or below the federal poverty level. Low-income communities are ones that have high proportions of low-income families, and often face barriers to accessing resources (such as effective schools, childcare, transportation, and healthcare).
Special Needs - this term is used to describe students who require assistance for disabilities that may be medical, physical, or psychological. These students often need additional classroom accommodations, including one-on-one lessons individualized education plans, or accessible materials. Students with special needs may have mild, moderate, or severe disabilities and varying levels of need related to accommodations.
Student Academic Achievement - academic achievement measures can be subjective and may look different for every student and every teacher. Academic achievement itself, however, is always related to student learning. We encourage you to craft your own definition of student academic achievement, tying it to student learning, with an emphasis on college and career success.