Acronyms in Special Education

Many parents are intimidated by all the acronyms in special education, so we included some of the most common ones below, along with what they stand for and what they mean. 

Acronym Full Term Description
504 Plan  Section 504 of the
Rehabilitation Act
An accommodation plan typically used for students who need environmental adjustments to be successful in school, like extra time or testing in a quiet room. These accommodations are not tied to academic performance goals, so students who receive them may or may not improve.
BIP Behavior Intervention Plan This plan is used to support students who sometimes struggle to meet behavioral goals by addressing the cause of a problem behavior to prevent it, and often rewards students for good behavior.
CST Child Study Team The team that works together to ensure the student’s success, and typically is made up of parents, a psychologist, special education professional, general education teacher, case manager and school social worker. The team determines initially whether the student is eligible for accommodations, and what accommodations are appropriate.
FBA Functional Behavioral Analysis Program implemented to determine the root cause of a student's behavior by asking questions like what was happening right before the behavior occurred, whether or not it could have been triggered by something, and what happened immediately after the event.
FAPE Free Appropriate Public Education Stipulates that each student should be able to make meaningful progress within the context of their abilities. Students receiving special education services should always have clear goals, objectives, and progress outlined.
IDEA Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act Federal statute that determines whether a student is eligible for special education services and what services they receive. The first step in the Special Education Process is determining whether or not the IDEA applies to the student. Definition of special needs has to be met in order for student to receive services.
IEE Independent Educational Evaluation Parents can ask for independent evaluations after the district concludes theirs to determine whether a student is eligible for IDEA. It is done by a third party not affiliated with the district at no charge to the parent.
IEP Individualized Education Plan Qualified students with disabilities that adversely affect their education are entitled to an IEP, which outlines specific services and accommodations and requires progress. Specialized instruction and related services.
INRS Intervention and Related Services Additional academic support not in the form or IEP or 504 offered to every student that may vary by district. The student may need a short bridge to grapple with challenging content. May or may not relate to an IDEA disability.
LRE Least Restrictive Environment The overall goal is to allow students to remain in the general education classroom setting whenever possible by introducing supports.
MDR Manifestation Determination Review If a student is suspended for more than 10 days, it is considered a change in placement. During an MDR, the parents and school district determine whether or not a behavior was a manifestation of the student's disability or special need: if not, the student can be suspended.
OAL Office of Administrative Law Special Education disputes are handled here; it is an arm of the state staffed by administrative law judges (ALJs).
PLAAFP    Present Levels of Academic Achievement and Functional Performance Examines a student’s performance and abilities, academically and functional performance so goals can be set for a student to make meaningful progress.