Definitions

The term 'student with a disability' means a student, age three through 21 years of age, evaluated as having autism, deaf-blindness, emotional disturbance, hearing impairment, including deafness, mental retardation, multiple disability, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, specific learning disability, speech or language impairment, traumatic brain injury, or visual impairment, including blindness; and who, because of that impairment, needs special education and related services.

Autism (Federal Census Code - 14)

"Autism" means a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age 3 that adversely affects a child's educational performance. Other characteristics, which may be associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences. The term does not apply if a student's educational performance is adversely affected primarily because the student has an emotional disability. www.teacch.com

Deafness (Federal Census Code - 03)

"Deafness" means a hearing impairment, which is so severe that the student is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification, which adversely affects educational performance.

Deaf-Blindness (Federal Census Code - 12)

"Deaf-blindness" means concomitant hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes such severe communication and other developmental and educational problems that the student cannot be accommodated solely as a student with deafness or a student with blindness.

Developmental Delay (Federal Census Code - 15) 

"Developmental Delay" means a student from three (3) through seven (7) years old assessed and evaluated in accordance with IDEA and Code of Maryland Annotated Regulations (COMAR) regulations who meets one of the following criteria:

• A 25 percent or greater delay in adaptive, cognitive, communicative, emotional, physical, or social development, as measured and verified by appropriate diagnostic instruments and procedures; or,

• Atypical development or behavior, as defined in the Code of Maryland Annotated Regulations (COMAR) 13A.13.01.02B(21)(b); this can be demonstrated by abnormal quality of performance and function in one or more of the specified developmental areas, which interferes with current development, and is likely to result in subsequent delay, even when diagnostic instruments and procedures do not document a 25 percent delay; or,

• A diagnosed physical or mental condition, as defined in COMAR 13A.13.01.02B(21)(c), which has a high probability of resulting in a developmental delay, including, but not limited to students with sensory impairments, inborn errors of metabolism, microcephaly, fetal alcohol syndrome, epilepsy, and Down Syndrome, and other chromosomal abnormalities.
 

Emotional Disability (Federal Census Code - 06)

A condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree, which adversely affects a student's educational performance:The term includes schizophrenia and does not apply to a student who is socially maladjusted, unless it is determined that the student has an emotional disability.

  • An inability to learn which cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors;
  • An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers;
  • Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances;
  • A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression; or
  • A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.

Hearing Impairment (Federal Census Code - 02)

"Hearing Impairment" means an impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating, which adversely affects a student's educational performance, but which is not included under the definition of "deafness" in this section.

Intellectual Disability (Federal Census Code-Ol)

"Intellectual Disability" means significantly subaverage general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period, which adversely affects a student's educational performance.

Multiple Disabilities (Federal Census Code - 10)

"Multiple Disabilities" means concomitant impairments (such as Intellectual Disability-blindness, Intellectual Disability-orthopedic impairment), the combination of which causes such severe educational problems that the student cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for one of the impairments. The term does not include students with deaf-blindness.

Orthopedic Impairment (Federal Census Code - 07)

"Orthopedic impairment" means a severe orthopedic impairment, which adversely affects a student's educational performance. The term includes impairments caused by congenital anomaly (such as, clubfoot, absence of some member), impairments caused by disease (such as, poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis), and impairments from other causes (such as, cerebral palsy, amputations, and fractures or bums which cause contractures).

Other Health Impairment (Federal Census Code - 08)

"Other health impairment" means having limited strength, vitality, or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli that results in limited alertness with respect to the educational environment, that is adversely affecting a student's educational performance due to chronic or acute health problems such as a heart condition, rheumatic fever, nephritis, asthma, sickle cell anemia, hemophilia, epilepsy, lead poisoning, leukemia, diabetes, attention deficit disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or Tourette syndrome..

Specific Learning Disability (Federal Census Code - 09)

"Specific Learning Disability" means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, which may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations. The term includes such conditions as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. The term does not include students who have learning problems, which are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor impairments, intellectual disability, emotional disability, environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.

Speech or Language Impairment (Federal Census Code - 04)

"Speech or language impairment" means a communication disorder such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment, or a voice impairment, which adversely affects a student's educational performance.

Traumatic Brain Injury (Federal Census Code - 13)

"Traumatic brain injury" means an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external force, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment, or both, that adversely affects a student's educational performance. The term includes open or closed head injuries resulting in impairments in one or more areas, such as cognition; language; memory; attention; reasoning; abstract thinking; judgment; problem-solving; sensory, perceptual and motor abilities; psychosocial behavior; physical functions; information processing; and speech. The term does not include brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative, or brain injuries induced by birth trauma.

Visual Impairment (Federal Census Code - 05)

"Visual impairment" means impairment in vision, which, even with correction, adversely affects a student's educational performance. The term includes partial sight and blindness.

 

 

Commonly Used Terms

Adapted from Maryland Online IEP Process Guide 2013

A

Accommodation –

A practice or procedure that provides a student with a disability equitable access during instruction and to assessments in the areas of: presentation response; setting; and scheduling. Accommodations do not reduce learning expectations.

[20 U.S.C. §1412(a)(16); COMAR 13A.05.01.03B(1); Maryland Accommodations Manual, June 2012; State Performance Plan Indicator 3]

Age of Majority –

IDEA requires that at least one year prior to reaching the age of majority in accordance with State law, the parents and student are to be informed of his or her rights under IDEA, which will transfer to him/her, if any. Rights under IDEA do not transfer to students with disabilities under Maryland State law. In certain limited circumstances, all rights accorded to the parents under IDEA shall transfer to a student with a disability. This transfer occurs when the student reaches the age of 18 years, if the student has not been adjudged incompetent under State law and there is documentation that:

  • The parents are unavailable or unknown, and the student requests that the parental rights be transferred to the student rather than have a parent surrogate appointed;
  • The parents have not participated in the special education decision making process for the student after repeated attempts by the public agency to involve the parents over the previous year;
  • The parents have affirmatively rejected participation in the special education decision making process;
  • The parents cannot participate in the special education decision making process due to prolonged hospitalization, institutionalization, or serious illness or infirmity of one or both of the parents and the parents have consented to the transfer of rights to the student;
  • The parents cannot participate in the special education decision making process due to extraordinary circumstances beyond their control, and the parents have consented to the transfer of rights to the student; or
  • The student is living outside of the parents' home and is not in the care or custody of another public agency.

If the parents of a student with a disability, with whom the student resides, do not consent to the transfer of rights to the student at the age of 18, and the student has not been adjudged incompetent under State law, either party may file for due process to determine whether the rights should be transferred.

If a parent surrogate in accordance with federal and State laws and regulations has represented a student with a disability, the public agency shall provide any written notice required under federal and State laws and regulations to both the student and parent surrogate. All other rights afforded the parent surrogate under IDEA shall transfer to the student if the student has not been adjudged incompetent under State law and the student requests that the rights transfer to the student. [Education Article §8-412.1, Annotated Code of Maryland]

Alternate Maryland School Assessment (Alt-MSA) –

The Alternate Maryland School Assessment (Alt-MSA) is the alternate assessment to the Maryland School Assessment Program (MSA). Students with the most significant cognitive disabilities participate in the Alt-MSA if through the IEP process it has been determined they cannot participate in the MSA even with accommodations (see participation guidelines below). The Alt-MSA assesses and reports student attainment of individually selected indicators and objectives from the reading, mathematics, and science content standards. A portfolio for the Alt-MSA is constructed of artifacts, such as student work samples, that document individual student mastery of the assessed reading, mathematics, and science objectives. Students participate in Alt-MSA in grades 3 through 8, and grade 10. Alt-MSA results are reported in three proficiency levels (Basic, Proficient, and Advanced) as part of the State Accountability program. Results from the Alt-MSA are aggregated with those from the MSA for accountability purposes, but the number of Alt-MSA students reported as “proficient” or above will be capped at 1% of the total number of assessed students at each grade and content. Refer to the “Maryland Accommodation Manual,” 2012for additional information regarding the guidelines for Alt-MSA.

Each student’s IEP team makes the decision as to which assessment is appropriate for an individual student. It is best practice for a student’s IEP team to use the Mod-HSA IEP Team Decision-Making Process Eligibility Tool as a safeguard to ensure appropriate identification of students with disabilities for participation in theAlt-MSA or Mod-HSA. This completed tool must be maintained in the student’s cumulative school record, to verify student'seligibility to participate in the Alt-MSA or Mod-HSA. A student with a significant cognitive disability will participate in Alt-MSA if he or she meets each of the following criteria:

  • The student is learning (at emerging, readiness, or functional literacy levels) extended Maryland reading and extended Maryland mathematics content standards objectives.
  •                                                             AND
  • The student requires explicit and ongoing instruction in functional skills.

AND

  • The student requires extensive and substantial modification (reduced complexity of objectives and learning materials, and more time to learn) of general education curriculum. The curriculum differs significantly from that of their nondisabled peers. They learn different objectives, may use different materials, and may participate in different learning activities.

AND

  • The student requires intensive instruction and may require extensive supports, including physical prompts, to learn, apply, and transfer or generalize knowledge and skills to multiple settings.

AND

  • The student requires extensive support to perform and participate meaningfully and productively in daily activities in school, home, community, and work environments.

AND

  • The student cannot participate in the MSA even with accommodations.

Students not meeting the criteria above will participate in the MSA, with or without accommodations, as appropriate, based on their IEP.

[Maryland Accommodations Manual, June 2012; COMAR 13A.03.02; State Performance Plan Indicator 3]
 

Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State for English Language Learners (ACCESS for ELLS)

ACCESS for ELLs® is an English language proficiency test; as such, it is a tool used to assess the construct of ELs' receptive and productive skills in English. Because it focuses on language rather than content area knowledge and skills, some accommodations that might be appropriate for the classroom or content area tests should not be used with ACCESS for ELLs® as they will invalidate the construct. In other words, students would be taking a test that is no longer measuring just their English language proficiency, making any interpretation or inferences from the scores invalid. Refer to Maryland Accommodations Manual Appendix P: MD State Assessment and ACCESS for ELLs®Accommodations Crosswalk for additional information. [Maryland Accommodations Manual, June 2012]

Assessment –
The process of collecting data for an evaluation to be used by an Individualized Education Program (IEP) team to determine a student’s need for special education and related services.

Assistive Technology Device –
Any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve functional capabilities of a student with a disability. The term does not include a medical device that is surgically implanted, or the replacement of such device. [20 U.S.C. §1401(1); 34 C.F.R. §300.5]

Assistive Technology Service –
Any service that directly assists a student with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device. The term includes:

  • The evaluation of the needs of such student, including a functional evaluation of the student in the student’s customary environment;
  • Purchasing, leasing, or otherwise providing for the acquisition of assistive technology devices by such student;
  • Selecting, designing, fitting, customizing, adapting, applying, maintaining, repairing, or replacing assistive technology devices;
  • Coordinating and using other therapies, interventions, or services with assistive technology devices, such as those associated with existing education and rehabilitation plans and programs;
  • Training or technical assistance for such student, or, where appropriate, the family of such student; and
  • Training or technical assistance for professionals (including individuals providing education and rehabilitation services), employers, or other individuals who provide services to, employ, or are otherwise substantially involved in the major life functions of such student.

[20 U.S.C. §1401 (2); 34 C.F.R. §300.6; COMAR 13A.05.01.03B(5)(b)]

B

Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) –
A proactive plan designed to address problem behaviors exhibited by a student in the educational setting through the use of positive behavioral interventions, strategies, and supports. [COMAR 13A.08.04.02B(1)]

Bridge Plan for Academic Validation (Bridge Plan)

The Bridge Plan for Academic Validation is for students failing to meet the passing score on any one HSA at least twice. Eligible students would also have to meet additional local and state criteria such as minimum GPA, satisfactory attendance, passing grades in all HSA subjects, and participation in academic remediation. Students meeting the eligibility criteria would be permitted to complete an Academic Validation project that demonstrates the content and skills of each HSA they failed to pass. To be eligible for the Bridge Plan, students must have failed an HSA at least twice, passed the HSA-related course, and completed an assistance program offered by their school or school system—for example, tutoring or after-school instruction. Students must also have an acceptable attendance record and be making satisfactory progress toward graduation. Local school systems will determine when a student may begin work on the Bridge Plan. A local review panel, established by your school district, will evaluate the Academic Validation Project(s) at the end of the assigned work period, and your local superintendent will give final approval.  For additional information, see: http://www.hsaexam.org/bridge_overview_09.html

 

C

COMAR –
Code of Maryland Regulations. Title 13 of COMAR includes all regulations adopted by the State Board of Education for the provision of public education to students in the State of Maryland. Within Title 13A, the following chapters are specifically applicable to students with disabilities:

  • COMAR 13A.05.01 Provision of a Free Appropriate Public Education
  • COMAR 13A.05.02 Administration of Services for Students with Disabilities
  • COMAR 13A.08.03 Discipline of Students with Disabilities
  • COMAR 13A.08.04 Student Behavioral Interventions
     

Consent

A public agency is required to ensure the parent has been fully informed of all information relevant to the activity for which consent is sought, in the parent's native language or other mode of communication; understands and agrees in writing to the carrying out of the activity for which the parent's consent is sought, and the consent describes that activity and lists the records, if any, that will be released and to whom; and understand that the granting of consent is voluntary on the part of the parent and may be revoked at any time. Consent includes that if the parent revoke consent, that revocation is not retroactive and does not negate an action that occurred after the consent was given and before the consent was revoked; and if the parent revokes consent in writing for their child’s receipt of special education services after the child is initially provided special education and related services, the public agency is not required to amend the student’s education records to remove any references to the child’s receipt of special education and related services because of the revocation of consent.  [34 CFR §§300.9, and 300.300]

 

D

Direct Service

Instructional and/or related services provided to the student

Discussion to Support Decision(s) (optional) –
A text field available to an IEP Team to provide additional information relative to an area within the student’s IEP where decisions are made. If an IEP Team intends to use the student’s IEP to satisfy the requirements for prior written notice (PWN), this text field provides space for that purpose. Please refer to the definition of prior written notice (PWN) below.  [20 U.S.C. §1415; 34 C.F.R §300.503; COMAR 13A.05.01.12]

Document Basis for Decision(s) (required) –
A required text field for an IEP team to provide additional information to document the basis of the IEP team’s decision. If addressed properly, documentation will meet requirements of prior written notice (PWN), in accordance with 34 C.F.R. §300.503 and COMAR 13A.05.01.12, PWN includes:

  • A description of the action proposed or refused;
  • An explanation of why the public agency proposes or refuses to take the action;
  • A description of the options the public agency considered and the reason the options were rejected;
  • A description of each assessment procedure, test, record, or report the public agency uses as a basis for the proposal or refusal; and
  • A description of any other factors relevant to the proposed or refused action;
  • A list of sources a parent may contact to obtain assistance in understanding the provisions of this chapter; and
  • If an action proposed by a public agency also requires parental consent, a public agency may provide notice at the same time it requests consent.  [34 C.F.R. §300.503; COMAR 13A.05.01.12]

E

Early Childhood Transition –

Children referred by the Local Infants and Toddlers Program (LITP) prior to age 3, who are found eligible for IDEA Part B preschool services, have an IEP developed and implemented on or before their third birthday.  [ 20 U.S.C. §1412(a)(9); 34 C.F.R. §300.124; State Performance Plan Indicator 12]

To ensure a smooth transition for toddlers receiving early intervention services under IDEA Part C to preschool or other appropriate services, the LITP shall notify the local school system of the jurisdiction in which the student resides that the student will shortly reach the age of eligibility for preschool services under IDEA Part B. In the case of the student who may be eligible for IDEA Part B preschool services, with the approval of the family of the student, convene a Transition Planning Meeting among the LITP, the family, and the local school system at least 90 days and at the discretion of all parties, not more than 9 months before the student is eligible for the preschool services, to discuss any services that the student may receive. In the case of a student who may not be eligible for preschool services, with the approval of the family, make reasonable efforts to convene a Transition Planning Meeting among the LITP, the family, and providers of other appropriate services for children who are not eligible for preschool services under IDEA Part B, to discuss the appropriate services that the student may receive.  [20 U.S.C. §1416(a) (3) (B); 34 C.F.R. §§300.101(b); 300.124; 300.323; State Performance Plan Indicators 11 and 12]

Evaluation
The review of information from parents; existing data; and results of assessment procedures at a meeting of the IEP team and other qualified professionals, as appropriate, to determine whether a student has a disability, and the nature and extent of the special education and related services that the student needs.  [20 U.S.C. §1414(a); 34 C.F.R. §§300.301-300.311]

English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA)

The ELPA is administered to English learners upon their entry into the school system (W-APT) and annually during a testing window in the second semester (ACCESS for ELLs®). The assessment measures a student’s English language proficiency in the areas of listening, speaking, reading, writing, comprehension and literacy. ELPA results are reported in six proficiency levels: entering, emerging, developing, expanding, bridging, and reaching. Assessment results are used by the local school systems to make decisions as to each student’s participation in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) programs. The State uses ELPA results when reporting information related the English language proficiency targets, referred to in Title III as Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives (AMAOs). AMAO 1 measures ELs’ progress in learning English; AMAO 2 measures the number of students who attain English proficiency during the school year. Some students with disabilities, such as those who participate in the Alt-MSA may be unable to demonstrate their English language proficiency on the ELPA, even with accommodations. In such cases, the IEP Team and the EL committee must collaborate to jointly determine the student’s English language proficiency test participation.

Extended Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) Option –

By the age of three (3), if a child with a current IFSP is determined eligible for special education and related services, the child's family may choose to continue to receive early intervention services with an educational component that promotes school readiness and incorporates preliteracy, language, and numeracy through an IFSP until the child enters kindergarten.

Extended School Year Services (ESY) –

the individualized extension of specific special education and related services provided to a student with a disability beyond the normal school year of the public agency, in accordance with the IEP, at no cost to the parents of the student; and which meet the standards of the Maryland State Department of Education. The determination of a student’s need for ESY services is made annually on an individual student basis by the student’s IEP team.  [34 C.F.R. 300.106]

F

Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) –
Special education and related services that are provided at public expense, under public supervision and direction, and without charge; meet state and federal requirements; include preschool, elementary school, or secondary school education; and are provided according to an IEP.  [20 U.S.C. §1412(a)(1)(A); 34 C.F.R. §300.101-113]

Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) –
The systematic process of gathering information to guide the development of an effective and efficient behavior intervention plan for the student’s identified problem behavior. An FBA includes the identification of the functions of the problem behavior for the student; a description of the problem behavior exhibited in the educational setting; and identification of environmental and other factors and settings that contribute to or predict the occurrence, nonoccurrence, and maintenance of the behavior over time.  [COMAR 13A.08.04.02B (5)]

H

High School Assessment –

The Maryland High School Assessments (HSA) are a series of end-of-course tests that extend the expectations of the Maryland School Assessments into high school and currently consists of four core examinations: English, algebra/data analysis, government, and biology. All students taking a core learning goals course in one of these subject areas must take the relevant High School Assessment.  [See State graduation requirements in COMAR 13A.03.02; Maryland Accommodations Manual, June 2012; State Performance Plan Indicator 3]

I

Identification

The decision that a student is eligible for special education and related services as a student with a disability in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  [20 U.S.C. §1414(b)(4) and (5); 34 C.F.R. §300.306; COMAR 13A.05.01.04-.06]

Indirect Service

A service provided for or on behalf of the student to ensure implementation of the individualized educational program (IEP) in the least restrictive environment (LRE).

Individualized Education Program (IEP) –
A written description of the special education and related services for a student with a disability that is developed, reviewed, and revised by the student’s IEP team.  [20 U.S.C. §1414(d); 34 C.F.R. §§300.320 - 300.328; COMAR 13A.05.01.03B(34)]

IEP Team
The group of individuals responsible for identifying and evaluating students with disabilities; developing, reviewing, or revising an IEP for a student with a disability; and determining the placement of a student with a disability in the least restrictive environment (LRE). The team may also include, at the discretion of the parent or the local school system, other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise about the student.  [20 U.S.C. §1414(d) (1) (B)-(d) (1) (D); 34 C.F.R. §§300.321]

Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)
A written plan for providing early intervention and other services to an eligible student and the student's family, which shall be consistent with 34 CFR §303.344 and:

  • Be developed jointly by the family and appropriate qualified personnel involved in the provision of early intervention services;
  • Be based on the multidisciplinary evaluation and assessment of the student, and the assessment of the student's family, as required in 34 CFR §303.322; and
  • Include services necessary to enhance the development of the student and the capacity of the family to meet the special needs of the student.

[34 C.F.R. §300.24]

L

Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) –
An educational environment which meets the needs of a student requiring special education and related services as set forth in the student’s IEP and which, to the maximum extent appropriate to the student’s needs, ensures that the student will be educated with nondisabled peers. To the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are educated with children who are not disabled, and special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only when the nature or severity of the disability of a student is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.  [20 U.S.C. §1412(a)(5); 34 C.F.R. §§300.114 - 300.120; COMAR 13A.05.01.10]

Limited English Proficient –
An individual who does not speak English as his or her primary language and who has a limited ability to read, speak, write, or understand English.  [20 U.S.C. §1401(18); 34 C.F.R. §300.27

M

Maryland Model for School Readiness (MMSR) Kindergarten Assessment –
MMSR is a school readiness framework. It is an assessment and instructional system designed to provide parents, teachers, and early childhood providers with a common understanding of what children know and are able to do upon entering school. It is defined by early learning standards for what children should know and be able to do by the end of kindergarten. In the summer of 2004, the MMSR standards were revised to reflect the State Curriculum (SC) content standards, indicators and objectives. In addition, the MMSR Fall Performance Examples (FPE's) were revised to provide close alignment between the new MMSR standards and exemplars that describe the assessment guidelines for kindergarten and pre-kindergarten.
An important component of the MMSR is the Work Sampling System (WSS), which provides a way for teachers to document and assess children’s skills, knowledge, behavior, and academic accomplishments in a variety of subject areas. By observing students, teachers gain a better understanding of what they know, are able to do, and still need to practice. The WSS is not a conventional readiness test and is not used to place students in particular programs. It is designed to support students’ learning in seven areas:

  • Social and personal development;
  • Language and literacy;
  • Mathematical thinking;
  • Scientific thinking;
  • Social studies;
  • The arts; and
  • Physical development.

[Please refer to the Maryland Accommodations Manual, June 2012]

Maryland School Assessment (MSA) –
The Maryland School Assessment Program (MSA) measures higher order thinking processes in reading (grades 3 through 8) and mathematics (grades 3 through 8). The MSA is a tool for school improvement and an overall measure of students' knowledge accumulated over several years of schooling. The MSA measures student, school, school system, and state performance and assesses the student’s performance against state standards in reading and mathematics. The MSA includes norm-referenced test items, and the results from these items measure student, school, and school system performance in comparison with national norms. The MSA tests are administered in March of each year, except for the end-of-course tests in English and algebra/data analysis, which are administered in January, May, and summer each year. The MSA in Science is for students enrolled in grades 5 and 8. The MSA in Science is administered in April of each year.  [See State graduation requirements in COMAR 13A.03.02; Maryland Accommodations Manual, June 2012; State Performance Plan Indicator 3]

Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) –
The State education agency responsible for administration and supervision of local education agencies to ensure the provision of a free appropriate public education is made available to all students with disabilities. [34 C.F.R. §300; Education Articles §§8-401 – 8-415, Annotated Code of Maryland; COMAR 13A.05.01; COMAR 13A.05.02; COMAR 13A.08.03; COMAR 13A.08.04]

Medical Assistance Service Coordination –
Case management services which assist students with disabilities receiving medical assistance to gain access to the services recommended in the student’s IEP. The Medical Assistance Service Coordinator is an individual who meets the requirements specified in COMAR 10.09.52.03C and provides the services specified in COMAR 10.09.52.04. A service coordinator shall be an employee or under contract with a provider, be chosen by the IEP team or waiver multidisciplinary team, with the approval of the participant's parent or parents, taking into consideration the primary disability manifested by the student, the student’s needs, and services recommended in the IEP. The Service Coordinator is to:
 

Participate in the IEP team to develop, review, or revise the student’s IEP, as appropriate, as in gaining access to the services recommended in the IEP;

Assist the student in gaining access to the services recommended in the IEP; and
Collect and synthesize evaluation reports and other relevant information about the student that might be needed by an IEP team. [COMAR 10.09.52]

Modification –
A practice or procedure that changes, lowers, or reduces learning expectations. Modifications can increase the gap between the achievement of students with disabilities and expectations for proficiency at a particular grade level. Using modifications may result in implications that could adversely affect students throughout their educational career. [Maryland Accommodations Manual, June 2012]

Modified High School Assessment (Mod-HSA) – The Modified High School Assessments (Mod-HSAs) are Modified Assessments based on course level core learning goals and modified academic achievement standards designed for students receiving special education services and who meet specific participation requirements. These end-of-course assessments in algebra/data analysis, English, biology and government meet both the Maryland graduation testing requirements (passing the HSAs is required for students who first entered grade 9 in the fall of 2005 or later) and the education accountability requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). The Mod-HSA in government is part of the Mod-HSA program of graduation testing requirements but is not a part of the NCLB accountability program. [Maryland Accommodations Manual, June 2012]

The Mod-HSAs cover the same content (as described in the Maryland Core Learning Goals and Assessment Limits) as the regular High School Assessments (HSA). The test will be administered during each of the regular HSA testing window. Results from the Mod-HSAs are summarized at the school, school system, and State level, and are combined with results from the HSA and the grade 10 Alt-MSA as part of Maryland’s Education Accountability Program. Mod-HSA results will be reported in three proficiency levels (Basic, Proficient, and Advanced) as part of the State Accountability program, but the number of Mod-HSA students reported as “proficient” or above will be capped at 2% of the total number of assessed students at each grade and content. Refer to the “Maryland Accommodation Manual, June 2012” for additional information regarding the guidelines for Mod-HSA. [See State graduation requirements in COMAR 13A.03.02; Maryland Accommodations Manual, June 2012; State Performance Plan Indicator 3]

A student who would be eligible for the Mod-HSA would be identified based on his/her individual evaluation information and the instructional and service information on his/her IEP. The student would be identified as appropriate for instruction and assessment using on course level core learning goals and modified academic achievement standards aligned with the Algebra/Data Analysis, Biology, English and/or Government. Students pursuing the Mod-HSA are not precluded from completing the requirements for the Maryland High School Diploma. It is best practice for a student’s IEP team to use the Mod-HSA IEP Team Decision-Making Process Eligibility Tool as a safeguard to ensure appropriate identification of students with disabilities for participation in the Alt-MSA or Mod-HSA. This completed tool must be maintained in the student’s cumulative school record, to verify student eligibility to participate in the Alt-MSA or Mod-HSA. The student would have been identified as meeting each of the following four criteria:

The student learning is based on the State’s Academic Content Standards/Core Learning Goals in the appropriate content area being considered: Algebra/data Analysis, Biology, English and/or Government. There must be sufficient objective evidence demonstrating that the student is not likely to achieve proficiency within the school year covered by his/her IEP.

AND

The student requires and receives modified academic achievement standards aligned with the Maryland Academic Content Standards/Core Learning Goals in the relevant content area (s) for the student’s grade level during instruction and assessment. In addition, specific modifications implemented in these instructional and assessment settings may include: less complex, fewer and shorter reading passages, shorter or less difficult questions, and test items with fewer answer choices.

AND

The student has had consecutive years of individualized intensive academic instruction intervention in the relevant content area (s) consistent with his/her IEP, and although progress towards course-level standards was made, he/she is not making progress at course-level.
 

AND

The student must demonstrate that he/she cannot attain proficiency on the Algebra/Data Analysis, Biology, English and/or Government HSA, even with the provision of accommodations based on documented multiple valid and objective measures of student’s progress (or lack of progress). Examples include the end-of-course assessments, district-wide assessments, data gathered from classroom assessments, and other formative assessments that can validate documented academic achievement in response to appropriate instruction. There must be enough time to document

P

Parent/Guardian –
Parent/Guardian means a student’s natural parents; a student’s adoptive parent; a guardian; a person acting as a parent of a student such as a grandparent, stepparent, or other relative with whom the student lives, or an individual who is legally responsible for the student’s welfare. Parent also includes a foster parent, with whom the student lives if the foster parent has been granted limited guardianship for educational decision-making purposes by the court that has placed the student in foster care. A parent includes a parent surrogate who has been appointed in accordance with 20 U.S.C. §1415(b) (2), and Education Article, §8-412, Annotated Code of Maryland. The term “parent” does not include a social worker or other employee of a public agency who is responsible for the education or care of the student.  [20 U.S.C. §1401(23); 34 C.F.R. §300.30; Education Article §8-412, Annotated Code of Maryland]

Parent Surrogate –
A person who is appointed by the local school superintendent to act in place of a parent of a student in the educational decision making process when a student is a ward of the State, or the student’s parents or unknown or unavailable, in accordance with Education Article §8-412, Annotated Code of Maryland.  [20 U.S.C. §1415(b)(2); 34 C.F.R. §300.519; Education Article §8-412, Annotated Code of Maryland]

Postsecondary Transition –
A coordinated set of activities for the student with a disability that is designed within a results-oriented process that will facilitate and support the student’s postsecondary goal(s).  [20 U.S.C. 1414(d)(1)(A) and (d)(6); 34 C.F.R. §§300.43; 300.320(b); State Performance Plan Indicators 13 and 14]

Prior Written Notice (PWN) –
An IEP team shall provide prior written notice (PWN) to the parent of a student with a disability before the public agency proposes or refuses to initiate or change the identification, evaluation, educational placement of the student, or the provision of FAPE to the student. PWN content includes:

  • A description of the action proposed or refused;
  • An explanation of why the public agency proposes or refuses to take the action;
  • A description of the options the public agency considered and the reason the options were rejected;
  • A description of each assessment procedure, test, record, or report the public agency uses as a basis for the proposal or refusal;
  • A description of any other factors relevant to the proposed or refused action;
  • A statement that the parent has protections under the procedural safeguards of the Act and the manner in which the parent may obtain a copy of the procedural safeguards;
  • A list of sources a parent may contact to obtain assistance in understanding the provisions of this chapter;
  • A statement informing a parent of the State written complaint procedures of this chapter; and,
  • If an action proposed by a public agency also requires parental consent, a public agency may provide notice at the same time it requests consent.

[20 U.S.C. §§1415(b)(3) and (4), 1415(c)(1), and 1414(b)(1); 34 C.F.R. §300.503; COMAR 13A.05.01.12]

R

Reevaluation –

A review of a student’s IEP by an IEP team at least once every three years, unless the public agency and student’s parents agree otherwise. On the basis of the review, and input from the student’s parents, the IEP team shall identify what additional data, if any, is needed, to determine:

  • Whether the student continues to be a student with a disability;
  • The educational needs of the student;
  • The present levels of academic achievement and related developmental needs of the student;
  • Whether additions or modifications to special education and related services are needed to enable the student to meet the measurable annual goals in the student’s IEP and to participate in the general curriculum; and
  • Whether the student continues to need special education and related services.

If the IEP team believes additional data is needed, the IEP team shall review the student’s IEP and the additional data within 90 calendar days of the IEP team meeting when the team determined the need for additional data.

[20 U.S.C. §§1401(30); 1414(a)(2); 1414(b)(6); 1414(c); 34 C.F.R. §§300.15; 300.303–300. 305; COMAR 13A.05.01.06E]

S

Service Plan –

A service plan is a written statement developed and implemented in accordance with 20 U.S.C. 1412(a)(10)(A) that describes the special education and related services a local school system shall provide a parentally placed private school student with a disability designated to receive services including the location of the services and any transportation necessary.  [20 U.S.C. §1412(a)(10)(A); 34 C.F.R. §§300.130 – 300.144 COMAR 13A.05.01.03B(69)]

Supplementary Aids, Services, Program Modifications, and Supports
Supports and services that enable a student with a disability to be educated within general education settings alongside nondisabled peers. Appropriate supplementary aids, services, program modifications, and supports may include, but are not limited to the services of various personnel that provide instructional support, indirect consultation, related supportive services, special scheduling, materials, devices, and instructional adaptations as determined appropriate for the individual student.  [20 U.S.C. §1401(33); 34 C.F.R. §§300.42, 300.320(a)(4), 300.324(a)(3)(ii); COMAR 13A.05.01.03B(79); COMAR 13A.05.01.16B]

T

Travel Training –

Instruction to students with disabilities, as appropriate, to enable them to: develop an awareness of the environment in which they live; and learn the skills necessary to move effectively and safely from place to place within that environment.  [20 U.S.C. §1401(29); 34 C.F.R. §300.39(a)(4); COMAR 13A.05.01.03B(83)]