• Accuplacer - The Accuplacer is an untimed, multiple choice test taken on a computer, and consisting of three question sections: reading comprehension, sentence skills, and math. Accuplacer is administered by Anne Arundel Community College to place incoming students into English and mathematics courses.  It is one of the assessments that may be used to meet College and Career Readiness as defined by MSDE.

    ACT – The ACT (American College Test) is a standardized test to determine a high school graduate’s preparation for college-level work, assessing students in four content areas: English, mathematics, reading, and science reasoning. Unlike the SAT, the ACT is based upon courses students have studied; it is a curriculum-based achievement test, not an IQ (intelligence) test. It is one of the assessments that may be used to meet College and Career Readiness as defined by MSDE.

    Advanced Placement (AP) Exams - AP Exams are taken at the conclusion of each Advanced Placement course a student takes. Some colleges and universities award credit based upon the score a student earns (1-5).  Not all colleges award credit for every AP course; policies vary.  A score higher than 3 is usually required to earn credit and to waive college courses or prerequisites. AP exam scores be used to meet College and Career Readiness as defined by MSDE.

    Cognitive Learning – Cognitive learning includes problem solving skills, thinking skills, retention, and comprehension of the material students have learned. This function is based upon how students reason and process information.

    ELA – The AACPS English Language Acquisition program is an instructional program developed according to research-based practices in language acquisition.  English language development is taught through direct instruction to all students who qualify for services.  The goal of the ELA program is to help students develop listening, speaking, reading, and writing proficiency across all academic areas.

    ELL – This term refers to students who are English Language Learners.  These students attend school, study English as well as the standard curriculum, and take assessments just like their peers.  Some of their instruction may be delivered through the ELA program. 

    Equitable vs Equal – “Equal” means treated the same. “Equitable” means treated with fairness and impartiality. In education, some students are not able to learn if they receive the same treatment.  For example, a student who is visually impaired may learn the same lessons from the same piece of literature as other students, but receives “equitable” treatment when that literature is printed in Braille or recorded for the student to hear, enabling the student with visual impairment to have individualized access to the same opportunities.

    ESSA – The Every Student Succeeds Act, signed into law signed by President Obama on December 10, 2015, reauthorizes the 50-year-old Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the nation’s national education law and longstanding commitment to equal opportunity for all students. The previous version of the law, the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, was enacted in 2002. NCLB represented a significant step forward for our nation’s children in many respects, particularly as it shined a light on where students were making progress and where they needed additional support, regardless of race, income, zip code, disability, home language, or background.

    FARMs – This acronym refers to the number and percentage of students receiving Free and Reduced Meals based upon the total family income.

    Formative – Formative assessments track the progress of student learning and allow instructors to adapt their teaching so that students improve their learning.  Formative assessments generally are either not assigned a point value or are given a grade of small proportion.  They often include short classroom assignments or tasks.

    Indicators – A measure of progress.  The indicators in the proposed Strategic Plan are progressive (growth) indicators by design, instead of the goal oriented indicators AACPS used in our last Strategic Plan.  Ultimately, the default goals for these indicators are set at 100%.  AACPS is committed to elevating all students and closing all gaps and will  collect, analyze, and act on all data collected by ethnicity, race, ELL, and FARMs groups.

    International Baccalaureate (IB) Exams - International Baccalaureate Diploma Program (IBDP) students take IB exams in the spring of their senior year and earn grades ranging from 7 to 1, with 7 being highest. IB students must earn a total of 24 points from their combined scores in order to be awarded the IB diploma. The theory of knowledge (TOK) and extended essay (EE) components are awarded individual grades and, collectively, can contribute up to 3 additional points towards the overall Diploma score.  IB exam scores may be used to meet College and Career Readiness as defined by MSDE.

    MSDE – Maryland State Department of Education - Under the leadership of the State Superintendent of Schools and guidance from the Maryland State Board of Education, the Department develops and implements standards and policy for education programs from pre-kindergarten through high school.

    Measures – Tools or instruments used to collect data to answer a question or provide information related to an indicator.  Measures can provide baseline data, track progress toward goals, and provide valuable feedback to various stakeholder groups about AACPS.

    Metrics - Metrics are key to the success of any plan. Metrics are the quantifiable data points we will use to track and assess the status of our progress viewed through our chosen indicators. During the life of this Strategic Plan, stakeholders will be able to track our progress using this website as a pseudo-dashboard, a place where key performance indicators may be tracked visually throughout each year.

    Mission - WHY WE ARE HERE:  It is the mission of Anne Arundel County Public Schools to nurture and educate all of our students to be well-prepared for community engagement, career entry, and college – ultimately empowering them to create a better quality of life for themselves, their communities, and the next generation.​

    PARCC Assessments – Maryland schools administer the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) assessments each spring. The computer-based assessments, covering English language arts/literacy and mathematics in grades 3-8 and at the high school level, are aligned with the new Maryland College and Career-Ready Standards, which were built on the Common Core State Standards.  PARCC assessment scores may be used to meet College and Career Readiness as defined by MSDE.

    Programs of Choice - AACPS Programs of Choice offer a range of specialized fields of study to increase excellence and opportunity for all secondary students.  These include but are not limited to AVID, Signature Programs and Magnet Programs (International Baccalaureate [IB]; BioMedical Allied Health [BMAH]; Performing and Visual Arts [PVA]; and Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics [STEM], and the Centers for Applied Technology [CAT]).

    Quarterly Assessments – High School students take quarterly assessments in all courses. Some quarterly assessments are common district assessments and were developed by teams of teachers from different schools while other quarterly assessments are developed by school content teams/teachers. Each quarterly assessment is worth 10% of the student's grade in each course. Some quarterly assessments are traditional (multiple choice, essay, etc.) while others are performance-based (projects, presentations, portfolios, etc.).

    Middle School students take one assessment, per quarter in English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, World and Classical Languages (level I and above). Each quarterly assessment is worth 5% of 6th and 7th grade students' quarter grade and 10% of 8th grade students' quarter grade.

    SAT - The SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test), a standardized test developed by the College Board, is administered to 11th and 12th graders; the score is used for admission to colleges and universities.  It is one of the assessments that may be used to meet College and Career Readiness as defined by MSDE.

    Social Emotional Learning - Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is a process of teaching students how to interact appropriately with others, managing emotions, resolving conflict, and making good decisions.

    Stakeholder – Our stakeholders include anyone who has an interest in the success of our students, schools, and the system as a whole.  Stakeholders are those directly or indirectly affected by our success. Students, families, teachers, administrators, school board members, and local government officials makeup the stakeholders of AACPS.

    Strategic Plan – Our new strategic Plan, Relationships, Rigor, Readiness: Elevating All Students, Eliminating All Gaps is the result of 18 months of collaborating and planning strategically with our stakeholders to identify our values and determine the path to achieve our goals.  Strategic planning is a process used by an organization to make decisions about its direction and the allocation of resources in order to pursue the identified goals within the strategic plan.  The process is an important aspect of strategic management to realize positive growth and success throughout an organization.

    Summative Assessments - Summative assessments evaluate the learning that has been mastered, generally at the end of a unit. The student receives a score that aligns with a standard or benchmark. Summative assessments often have a high point value and contribute to the student’s marking period grade; these may include a final project, paper, or a performance demonstrating mastery of skills.

    SWOT Technique – SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, & Threats) is a structured method used to evaluate those four elements of project or business venture. The method involves considering each objective of a project and identifying the factors that are favorable and unfavorable to achieve that objective.

    Values - As we continue to strive in Anne Arundel County Public Schools to elevate all students and eliminate all gaps, community stakeholders came together during the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 school years to articulate what they felt was most important for us to embrace as guiding values for our next five years. Their thoughts are grounded in the need for us as a school district to become a place where all feel welcome, valued, and supported as we learn and work together toward achieving student success. These five values will drive our planning and actions during the 2017-22 school years.

    Vision - HOW WE SEE THE FUTURE:  Our students will graduate as caring citizens with the dispositions and skills necessary to think, read, write, compute, collaborate, and communicate effectively in our fast-paced, complex world.  They will be ready to think critically and creatively; work independently and collaboratively with others from diverse backgrounds; engage in innovative interdisciplinary analysis and problem solving, and confidently contribute to solutions to real world issues.​​