Accelerated Improvement Plan (AIP) Glossary

Accelerated Improvement Plan (AIP):  A two-year plan designed to target and and transform instructional practice at all levels that is tangible to all students, teachers and families.  The plan emphasizes performance more than processes to determine whether activities are improving teaching and learning, and making a difference for students. The activities in a plan are the means of achieving the strategic objectives and outcomes identified in the plan. (

Benchmarks-The standard by which progress is measured.

Benchmark Assessments:  An assessment administered at a specific point in the school year in which the results are measured against established standards or benchmarks.

For example, a beginning of year (BOY) assessment is an assessment that used to benchmark a student’s performance at the beginning of year in order to measure growth using ensuing assessments.   Subsequent assessments for benchmarking are referred to as middle of the year (MOY) assessment and end of year (EOY) assessment.

Core and Beyond:  Students who demonstrate above grade level proficiency and require acceleration are said to receive ‘core and beyond’ instruction.  That is access to the reading, math, social studies or science curriculum plus extension.

Core Plus Supplemental:  Students receiving core plus supplemental instruction are receiving the core curriculum programs plus supplemental instructional and materials designed to address ‘gaps’ in their learning.  For instance, re-teaching lessons , explicit mixed review etc.

Core Plus Intervention:  Students receiving core plus intervention are receiving the core program plus a second scientifically based, intervention program designed to support student achievement.

DIBELS Next– Students in grades K-5 are assessed using DIBELS Next, Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills Next. DIBELS Next assesses five skills that are necessary for learning to read. Children who learn these skills become good readers. The skills are:

  • Phonemic Awareness: Hearing and using sounds in spoken words
  • Alphabetic Principle: Knowing the sounds of the letters and sounding out written words
  • Accurate and Fluent Reading: Reading stories and other materials easily and quickly with few mistakes
  • Vocabulary: Understanding and using a variety of words
  • Comprehension: Understanding what is spoken or read

DIBELS consists of seven short individual tests, called subtests. Each DIBELS subtest focuses on a different skill and takes 1 minute to complete. Your child may be given two to five of the DIBELS subtests depending on his or her grade level.  Each subtest provides specific benchmarks students must achieve. A score falling at the low risk level indicates the child is on track for success in reading at their grade level. Students scoring at some risk have scores that fall in the mid-range and are in need of some supports to meet grade level goals. At risk scores indicates that additional interventions are needed in order for the student to meet the end of year reading goals.

ETF:  An Educational Team Facilitator is a school-based administrator charged with overseeing all aspects of the IEP process and supervising and evaluating teaching and learning alongside the building principal

High Needs Students: According to the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education,  High Needs Students are those designated as either low income,, economically disadvantaged,, ELL or former ELL, or a student with disabilities. (A former ELL student is a student not currently an ELL, but had been at some point in the two previous academic years).

Positive Behavior Intervention System (PBIS):  A systemic approach to enhancing the capacity of schools to educate all children by developing research-based, school-wide, and classroom behavior support systems. The process focuses on improving a school’s ability to teach and support positive behavior for all students and enhance the social emotional development of all students.

Progress Monitoring:  Interim assessments used to assess if a student has moved closer to the benchmark expectation.

“Quick Wins”:  Tangible things teachers and administrators can do that improve instructional practice or classroom routines.  These things do not require money, extensive professional development or excessive time.

Service Providers: A term used to describe those individuals providing therapeutic services such as, but not limited to,  speech and language, occupational, physical and psychological.

SMART Goals: An acronym used to define goals that are specific, measurable. achievable, results focused and time-bound.

Tiered Instruction:  An evidenced based framework for instruction that uses data-based problem solving to provide a range of supports, interventions, and extension that is responsive to the academic and non-academic needs of all students including students with disabilities, English language learners, and students who are academically advanced.

Walk Through:  A professional practice designed to engage teachers and administrators in dialogue and reflection about teaching practices and school-wide goals.  During this practice, a team visits a classroom with a shared focus of inquiry, makes observations and constructs non-evaluative aggregate feedback notes that are, in turn, shared with the entire school community.