Glossary

  • ACCESS (noun)- The big English test that all English Learners in Massachusetts take each January. (There is also a special education program at Nixon and Curtis schools with the same name.) Learn more

    absent (adjective)- not at school

    absence (noun)- a day when a student is not at school (Flor has no absences this year. She came to school every day.)

    accommodation (noun)- a small change that teachers make to the environment, the way they teach, or the equipment they use that helps a student learn the same information (A student who has trouble seeing might sit closer to the teacher. A teacher might use more photos and drawings in a class with students who are learning English.)

    dismissal (noun)- the end of the day when students are "dismissed" or allowed to go home.

    early release (noun, adjective)- a day when school ends earlier than usual. We have many early release days, often on Wednesdays. Check the school calendar to know when they are.

    EL (noun)- English Learner An EL is a student who qualifies for the ELD program. (Some people still say "ELL" which is a slightly older term that means the exact same thing.)

    ELD (noun)- English Language Development This is the name of our program, which provides English lessons to multilingual students who need additional English instruction to fully succeed in their school career. (Some people use other terms such as ESL, ESOL, or ELE, which are all different names for the same program.)

    FEL (noun)- Former English Learner A student who has completed the ELD program and qualifies to exit. (Some people still say "FLEP" which is a slightly older term that means exactly the same thing.)

    Field Trip (noun)- an educational class trip (to a museum, historical site, or nature park). For your child to join their class on a field trip, you will need to sign a permission slip and sometimes pay a small fee.

    ILAP (noun)- an early release day in Sudbury

    MCAS (noun)- Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System- the standardized test required by the State of Massachusetts for all public school students in Grades 3-12 each year. This test is important and children should always try their best but the MCAS is not nearly as critical and stressful as the standardized tests in many other countries.

    modification (noun)- a change in the content that a teacher makes for a student that needs help. (A teacher might give the student a book at a lower reading level or make a test with simpler questions.) Modifications are less common than accommodations.

    parent teacher conference (noun)- a meeting between families and one or more of your child's teachers. This is a time when teachers can tell you how your child is doing in school and you can ask questions. You can request a meeting with your child's teachers any time but official parent teacher conferences happen twice a year, in the Fall and in the Spring. On those days, the teachers have very busy schedules so the meetings are short and it's important to arrive a few minutes before the meeting time. If you need an interpreter, tell us ahead of time and we will hire a professional interpreter for you. We love meetings with interpreters because parents who are learning English can ask more detailed questions and interpreters can often help everyone to understand cultural differences that can cause confusion.

    Special Education (noun)- Special Ed. or SPED a program that provides individualized education for students with disabilities. A very wide range of services are provided as a part of Special Education. Some students qualify for both the Special Education and the English Language Development programs but ELD is not a part of Special Ed. because being multilingual is a skill, not a disability.

    snow day (noun)- a day when school is cancelled because of poor weather or dangerous road conditions

    tardy (adjective)- late. If your child is tardy, you need to walk into the school office with them and sign a paper.

    tardy (noun)- a time when your child is late to school. (She had three tardies this week. Is everything okay?)

    team (noun)- a group of people who work together (like a football team.) At Curtis "team" means the group of students who are taught by the same four teachers, who each teach a different subject. Teams at Curtis are mostly named after green and white things because those are the school colors. You might also hear the word "team" used to mean all of the professionals who work with your child (for example: their classroom teacher, ELD teacher, special educator, school psychologist, and Literacy teacher).

    WIDA (noun)- The organization that creates the ELD tests and scoring systems that we use. Learn more