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Glossary of Key Terms

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Term Definition
Academic Standards

Academic standards (sometimes referred to as learning standards or educational standards) define the knowledge and skills students should possess at critical points in their educational career in various subject, content areas. There is a variety of researched based standards systems schools may use, such as the USCCB (United States Catholic Council of Bishops), ISTE (International Society for Technology), the NCTM (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics), the Common Core State Standards, etc. Exit Standards describe the broad endpoints of a projected learning sequence (for example, K-12 schooling), while progress markers or benchmarks describe what student should know and be able to do along the way (often at the end of grade levels or specific courses or sequences of courses).

Accessibility Plan

Accessibility plans include the degree to which all school services and facilities are available to as many people as possible. (Based on the Disability discrimination Act this requires schools to remove discrimination against students with disability in their access to education. It requires schools to make “reasonable adjustments” to their policies, procedures and practices to accommodate pupils with disabilities more fully.) Schools should have in place written plans on how access will increase over the years.


Advancement is the strategic process by which schools build and sustain mission-appropriate constituent relations to increase the viability of the school. This happens through the integration of the school’s admissions, marketing and communications, and development programs. (See Development and Institutional Advancement)

Advisory Board

A body that participates in the policy-making/decision-making process by formulating, adapting, and recommending policy to the person(s) with authority to enact it. The authority is not bound by the board’s advice.


Having to do with beauty and the arts.


Joined or combined into a single group.


Analysis is the detailed examination of the elements or structure of something, typically as a basis for discussion or interpretation, For example, the elements and patterns related to enrollment and retention.

Ancillary Programs

Furnishing support or assistance outside of academic courses (such as guidance, wellness programs, etc.

Assessment: Faculty and Staff

In this usage of the term it refers to evaluation of faculty members/teachers and staff members. The assessment process has several critical elements that include goal setting and agreed upon formative and summative processes. Typically, these processes will include formal observations and summative evaluation.

Authentic Integration

Student-centered use of digital tools and content knowledge in a real-world application.

Authentic Performance

Tasks that reflect the use of knowledge and skills in real-world applied situations.

Authoritative or Decision-Making Board

A body that participates in the policy-making process by formulating, adopting, and enacting policy. The board has been delegated final authority regarding certain areas of institutional operation, although its jurisdiction is limited to those areas that have been delegated to it by the constitution and/or bylaws, and approved by the delegating Church authority.  A.K.A. Board of Limited or Specified Jurisdiction; Board of Trustees; Board of Directors

Authority: Appropriate and Legitimate

The person or group that has the right to establish structures of governance and norms for the existence and continued mission of the institution.

Authority: Bishop’s Legitimate Authority

The bishop’s right to establish structures of governance and norms that guide his involvement with regard to schools. A diocesan bishop exercises his authority in accord with Canon Law and in accord with all applicable Civil Laws at the Federal, state, and local levels.

Backward Designed Curriculum

Curriculum that is developed by (1) starting with the end in mind (desired learning outcomes), (2) creating valid ways for students to demonstrate the desired learning (assessments), and (3) designing instruction to coach students to perform well on the assessments (learning experiences and instructional strategies).