Commonly Used Terms and/or Abbreviations

  • 21st Century Skills – skills needed to be successful in a job and life in this century (e.g. critical thinking and reasoning, problem solving, information/communication literacy, creativity, perseverance, cooperative work, open mindedness, life skills, and more)

    CTE – Career and Technical Education

    ELA – English/Language Arts

    ELL – English Language Learners

    ESSA – Every Student Succeeds Act:  federal law that governs K-12 policy including annual testing in grades 3-8 plus grade 11 to achieve state standards

    F/R – Free or Reduced Lunch

    FTE – Full-time Equivalent (a unit of staff positions)

    ICAP – Individual Career and Academic Planning

    MTSS – Multi-tiered System of Support (a systemic, continuous-improvement framework in which data-based problem solving and decision-making is practiced across all levels of the educational system for supporting students)

    PBIS – Positive Behavioral Intervention Strategies

    Sandbox Goal - A goal for which we do not yet have a clear measure but on which we still work. 

    SIP – School Improvement Plans   

    SpEd – Special Education

    StratOp – Strategic Operations Action Teams created to advance the outcomes of the Estes Thrives Neighborhood Learning Conversations

    SWD – Students with Disabilities

    UIP – Unified Improvement Plan required in Colorado to assure continuous student improvement and manage performance


    • Formative assessments – formal and informal assessments (including diagnostic) used by teachers to guide/modify day-to-day instruction
    • Benchmark assessments – nationally normed tests given in the fall, winter, and spring to assess learning and guide instruction
      • MAPS/NWEA - Measures of Academic Progress, provided by Northwest Evaluation Association
    • Summative assessments – evaluative assessments of student learning given at the conclusion of a defined instructional period
    • PSAT – Preliminary SAT given in grade 10 to prepare students for taking the SAT and to qualify for National Merit Scholarships
    • SAT – Scholastic Achievement Test given to seniors to qualify for college admission now used in Colorado instead of the ACT
    • ACT – American College Testing given to qualify for college admission
    • CMAS – Colorado Measures of Academic Success tests of standards in reading, English language arts, math, science, and social studies given in spring in grades 3-8 and grade 10
    • PARCC – Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers based upon real-world skills such as critical thinking and problem solving