GLOSSARY of ACCREDITATION TERMINOLOGY
The following terms used in the Standards for Accreditation have specific meanings as defined here:
Academic Standards – Expectations for what students are expected to know and to be able to do with what they know in the content areas included in the educational program.
Accreditation Standards – Qualitative statements that reflect research-based best practices for schools.
Distance Education – Education that uses, as its primary mode of instructional delivery, an alternative to traditional classroom-based instruction, such as via the Internet, mailed correspondence, or fax.
Early Age Education – A program serving families and their children from infancy through age six years in settings such as schools and early childhood centers.
Facilities – A school's building(s), grounds, furnishings, equipment, and vehicles.
Families – Parents, guardians, caregivers, or others in a custodial relationship with a learner.
Governance – The group or individuals charged with overseeing the direction of the school; may be a governing body, board of trustees, board of education, advisory committee, or some other configuration.
Information Resources – Electronic, print, and other media, as well as interactive learning materials available through a library, in the classroom, or in the wider community that complement course materials and textbooks and enhance the educational program.
Leadership – The head of the school and school system, members of the administrative staff of the school and school system, and all others in administrative positions.
Long-Range Plan – A plan that assumes that the future is fixed and already known; a plan not based on a vision of what the future might or could be but, instead, focused on improving existing systems. The locus of control in long range planning is often external to the organization.
Mission – The unifying theme or vision that illuminates the reason for the school's existence, the audience that it serves, and its distinctive character.
Philosophy – The expression of beliefs about the nature of the learner and the processes and relationships that should exist within the school to positively affect learning.
Quality – A level of excellence expected by the school's stakeholders and respected by the larger community.
Related Services – Services that respond to the needs of identified students with special education needs such as speech-language, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and other specialized services.
School System – A system of schools that meets the following criteria:
- A legal entity
- A system consisting of more than one component school
- A single governing body
- A chief executive officer or superintendent, or
- A group of faith-based schools affiliated within a community, organization, or diocese
Stakeholders – Individuals or groups that have a stake in the future of the school; may be school leaders, teachers, members of the staff, students, families, governing bodies, community members, alumni, business partners, and others.
Strategic Plan – A plan based on the principle that the locus of control is inside the organization, because planning is based on the organization's vision of a preferred future; plan that assumes that, as a human organization, the institution has the ability to exercise control over external factors and can create the future; plan that creates a desired reality and outlines the actions to be taken to obtain that reality.
Student Support Services – Services, or referrals to services, that address the emotional, physical, and social needs of students, and as appropriate involve their families, including guidance and counseling, speech-language services, occupational therapy, and physical therapy.