Alphabet Soup a.k.a. School Jargon

Building Staff Capacity Training

MARCH 26, 2019

IMPORTANT: Please Sign-In & Give Your Feedback!!



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State academic standards; State and local academic assessments; Title I, Part A requirements; how to monitor a child’s progress and work with educators to improve the achievement of their children.

How to Build Capacity

I. Building Staff Capacity with Parents Objectives

  • Work with Parents as Equal Partners in their child's education
  • Foster parent engagement in the classroom and the school
  • Parents are stakeholders in their child's academic success

II. Building Capacity with Parents

  • Value and utility of contributions of parents
  • Reach out to communicate and work with parents as stakeholders
  • Implement and coordinate parent programs to build ties between home and the school

III. Value and Utility of Building Capacity with Parents

  • Partnering with parents builds relationships because it opens up 2-way communication, builds trust, and supports student success
  • Because parents were their child’s first teacher, partnering with them indicates that teachers/staff value the contributions parents make towards their child's academic achievement
  • Strategies are identified by teachers to further support student success both in school and through family involvement

IV. Communication is the Key!

  • Create a website or use weekly emails to tell parents about tests, projects, and homework assignments
  • Create a window into your classroom through Social Media or by submitting pictures to Titan Talk.
  • Communication is the key to Initiating and maintaining ties between home and school
  • Create Trust by being responsive, timely, relevant, and clear in purpose.

Georgia Department of Education (GADOE) Requirements for Building Staff Capacity:

  1. Assistance of parents (feedback and input of parents)
  2. Value and utility of parent contributions (volunteering in the classroom)
  3. Reach out to communicate with parents (effective communication)
  4. Work with parents as equal partners (i.e. implement and coordinate parent programs)
  5. Build ties with parents between school and home (i.e. resources for student achievement)

Title I Requirements

  • Each Title I school shall educate teachers, specialized instructional support personnel, principals, and other school leaders, and other staff, with the assistance of parents, in the value and utility of contributions of parents, and in how to reach out to, communicate with, and work with parents as equal partners, implement and coordinate parent programs, and build ties between parents and the school - Section 1116(e)(3)

  • Each Title I school shall, to the extent feasible and appropriate, coordinate and integrate parent involvement programs and activities with other Federal, State, and local programs, including public preschool programs, and conduct other activities, such as parent resource centers, that encourage and support parent in fully participating in the education of their children – Section 1116(e)(4)

  • Each Title I school shall ensure that information related to school and parent programs, meetings, and other activities is sent to the parents of participating children in a format and, to the extent practicable, in a language the parents can understand – Section 1116(e)(5) and Section 1112(e)(4)

  • Each Title I school shall implement an effective means of outreach to parents of English learners to inform the parents regarding how the parents can be involved in the education of their children and be active participants in assisting their children to attain English proficiency, achieve at high levels within a well-rounded education, and meet the challenging State academic standards expected of all students [and]… shall include holding, and sending notice of opportunities for, regular meetings for the purpose of formulating and responding to recommendations from parents of students assisted under [Title I] or Title III. – Section 1112(e)(3)(C)


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"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." ~ Groucho Marx

QUESTION ASKED TO PARENTS: What do you find perplexing about School Jargon? 😕


  • Most of them!
  • All of the testing acronyms. :)
  • School Lingo! Must use full terms with acronyms because I don't understand the school lingo. Every time if only acronyms are used, communication fails, and even then the terms are not always familiar.

Jargon and "Belonging to a Club YOU Never Wanted to Belong to!"


  • KEEP IT SIMPLE - Speak as if you are explaining to a child. (Note: Perhaps not one of the students because they tend to know the acronyms/lingo)

  • OFFICE365 TERMS...TEAMS: "Teams?" "I would attend a parent night that describes the platform teachers are supposed to use for communications. I understand there is something called TEAMS that some teachers use."

  • GLOSSARY: Maybe have a cheat sheet handy that lists all of the testing names and other acronyms. Possibly with direct links. Just bulleted, no explanations except with the links.

  • DON'T ASSUME: Explain the school jargon when it is first used in each communication. Do not assume we know what it means.

  • LINGO...SPELL IT OUT AND DEFINE: "Always use the full term, not just an acronym."

  • TESTING ACRONYMS: Be specific about what the test (testing) is for and what all area it covers.

  • REFERENCE POINTS: Weekly emails are good, but it would be better if there were one platform like Weebly sites that all teachers used for communications, announcements, class assignments, homework, class notes, study guides, and emails and this contained the acronyms.

Who deserves a Shirley Temple Salute?!?

Parents Salute You!!

  • "Mr. Hardigree, Mrs. Streeter, Ms. Gee, Mrs. Williams are all great!"

  • "Profe Meija sends timely and very detailed emails. Mrs. Toh’s use of "Remind" me is an excellent tool."

  • "Ms. Toh, Mrs. Martin, Mrs. Kurowski, Mrs. Veillette!"

  • Teachers who use the Remind AP (Williams-8th, GEE-8th and Tonner-8th Grade GA Trip) It is an excellent format to remind students and parents alike of homework, assessments, and project deadlines. Wish more teachers and staff would consider using.

  • Weekly emails from Johnson Sensei are ALWAYS helpful.

  • There are so many phenomenal teachers & staff at EPMS. Ms. Capriola, the wonderful Ms.Ward and the impossibly awesome Ms.Smith who leads this great school community.

"Yes, Soup for You!"

WISH LIST for improve communications...

  • Go to the link on school home page for jargon

  • Perhaps having a cheat sheet online or otherwise accessible for parents like me

  • Be specific about the type of testing, what it for and what all area it covers.

  • Weekly emails - but it would be better if there was one platform like Weebly sites that all teachers used for communications, announcements, class assignments, homework, class notes, study guides and emails

  • As far as the 'school jargon' part, simply telling what the acronym stands for and a brief description of it would be helpful in communicating in the Titan Talk or whenever used. Simply sending an update about what students are learning, or when we can expect a test & how to help our children.

  • Wish parents had access to review quizzes and tests to be able to review with students testing strategies.

  • Wish more teachers would find more time to communicate what is taking place in their classrooms
Note: Parent feedback from the Stakeholder Input Meeting FY19.
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To help parents understand School Jargon better, do these things...

1) Always use the full term in any communication, i.e., Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS), when you introduce an acronym.

2) When using an acronym, please give a brief description along with the full name. Remember that parent do not in the know and do not use school lingo.

3) Make a glossary of terms to put on your website or to add to the school's website.

4) Complete the evaluation and provide your some of your most used "Alphabet Soup" terms so they can be added to a glossary on the Elkins Pointe Website.

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Evaluations & Feedback Form

Complete the following:

1) Evaluation of Staff Capacity Training - Animal Crackers!

2) Feedback Form for School-Family Compact - Spring Input for 2019-2020

  • If you attended the Title I Input Stakeholder Meeting at 8:30 am. Thank you.
  • All teachers and staff are invited to join us at the Title I Input Stakeholder Meeting at 6:00 am in the Media Center


Explanation of Title I School-Wide Program

  • What makes EPMS a Title I school?
  • What is the purpose of the Spring Input Meeting?
  • What benefits does Title I bring to EPMS?
  • What is a Parent Liaison?
  • What are the benefits of Title I, and who benefits?

“Map It Out” Input

Using these data points, please tell us how we can improve our program:

  1. Accessibility (i.e. Language barriers, times of meetings for working parents)
  2. Jointly Developed - How to include all of our school community
  3. Parent Engagement - Getting Parents into the classrooms and to come to Parent Workshops, Title I Annual Meeting
  4. Opportunities for Consultation - Giving Input (i.e. Title I Input Meetings) and feedback throughout the year.
  5. Building Staff Capacity - How can parents partner with the school and teachers? What would parents like to communicate with teachers and school?

Help Us to Review & Revise:

  • School-Wide Plan
  • School-Family Compact

Share the Power and Jointly Decide

  1. School-Wide Plan and the Parent & Family Engagement Plan
    1. Joint Decision Making, Sharing Power & Advocacy
    2. 2-Way Communication
  2. Schoo-Family Compacts
    1. What is a Compact?
    2. Parents, teachers & students Agree to…
  3. Parent University Workshop
  4. What obstacles are in your way?
Teacher/Staff/Admin Stakeholder Survey FY20

Please give your Stakeholder Input for 2019-2020


Please email, Lisa O'Hanlon Cowles at