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Glossary of Terms for the Special Education Procedural Directives - April 2011 Revision

Note: The key terms below (that appear in the Special Education Procedural Directives) were reviewed and revised in October 2012. We provide this revision for historic purposes only. Please refer to the current list of terms.

academic achievement: generally refers to a child’s performance in academic areas (e.g., reading or language arts, math, science, and history).  (71 Fed. Reg. 46662 (August 14, 2006))

assistive technology device: any item, piece of equipment, or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified, or customized, that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of a child with a disability.  The term does not include a medical device that is surgically implanted, or the replacement of such device.  (34 C.F.R. § 300.5)

assistive technology service: any service that directly assists a child with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device.  (34 C.F.R. § 300.6)

BIP: behavioral intervention plan.

complaint assistance IEP (CAIEP) meeting: an IEP meeting that is facilitated by the representative of the public agency who directs special education programs within the public agency, and who has decision-making authority on behalf of such agency.  ( NMAC)


(a)       The parent has been fully informed of all information relevant to the activity for which consent is sought, in his or her native language, or other mode of communication;

(b)       The parent understands and agrees in writing to the carrying out of the activity for which his or her consent is sought, and the consent describes that activity and lists the records (if any) that will be released and to whom; and

(c)(1)   The parent understands that the granting of consent is voluntary on the part of the parent and may be revoked at any time.

(2)   If a parent revokes consent, that revocation is not retroactive (i.e., it does not negate an action that has occurred after the consent was given and before the consent was revoked).

(3)  If the parent revokes consent in writing for their child’s receipt of special education services after the child is initially provided special education and related services, the public agency is not required to amend the child’s education records to remove any references to the child’s receipt of special education and related services because of the revocation of consent.

(34 C.F.R. § 300.9)

controlled substance: a drug or other substance identified under schedules I, II, III, IV, or V in section 202(c) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812(c)).  (34 C.F.R. § 300.530(i)(1))

destruction of information: physical destruction or removal of personal identifiers from information so that the information is no longer personally identifiable.  (34 C.F.R. § 300.611(a))

developmentally delayed: a child aged three (3) through nine (9) or who will turn three (3) at any time during the school year; with documented delays in development which are at least two standard deviations below the mean on a standardized test instrument or thirty per cent (30%) below chronological age; and who in the professional judgment of the IEP Team and one or more qualified evaluators needs special education and related services in at least one of the following five areas: communication development, cognitive development, physical development, social or emotional development or adaptive development.  ( NMAC)

dual discrepancy: the child does not achieve adequately for the child's age or to meet grade-level standards established in Standards for Excellence (Chapter 29 of Title 6 of the NMAC); and

(a) does not make sufficient progress to meet age or grade-level standards; or

(b) exhibits a pattern of strengths and weaknesses in performance, achievement, or both, relative to age, grade level standards or intellectual development.


education records: the type of records covered under the definition of “education records” in 34 CFR Part 99 (the regulations implementing the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, 20 U.S.C. 1232g (FERPA)).

EDT: Eligibility Determination Team (formerly Multidisciplinary Team) which consists of a group of qualified professionals and the parents of the child.  Following the completion of an initial evaluation or reevaluation, the EDT determines whether the child is a child with a disability and the educational needs of the child.  (34 C.F.R. § 300.306(a)(1))

ESY: extended school year.

extended school year services: special education and related services that meet the standards of the state and are provided to a child with a disability:

  • Beyond the normal school year of the public agency;
  • In accordance with the child’s IEP; and
  • At no cost to the parents of the child.

(34 C.F.R. § 300.106(b))

facilitated IEP (FIEP) meeting: an IEP meeting that utilizes a facilitator as an IEP facilitator to assist the IEP team to communicate openly and effectively, in order to resolve conflicts related to a student's IEP.  ( NMAC)

FAPE: free appropriate public education.  FAPE means, among other things, special education and related services that are provided in conformity with an IEP that meets the requirements of § 300.320 through § 300.324.  (34 C.F.R. § 300.17)

FBA: functional behavioral assessment.

functional performance: refers to skills or activities that are not considered academic or related to a child’s academic achievement.  Functional is often used in the context of routine activities of everyday living.  The range of functional is as varied as the individual needs of children with disabilities.  (71 Fed. Reg. 46661 (August 14, 2006))

homeless children: shall be defined in compliance with the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (section 725) meaning individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.  This includes:

(i) children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals; or are awaiting foster care placement;

(ii) children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings (within the meaning of section 103(a)(2)(C));

(iii) children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and

(iv) migratory children (as such term is defined in section 1309 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965) who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this subtitle because the children are living in circumstances described in clauses (i) through (iii).

(42 U.S.C. §11434a)

illegal drug: a controlled substance, but does not include a controlled substance that is legally possessed or used under the supervision of a licensed health-care professional or that is legally possessed or used under any other authority under that Act or under any other provision of federal law.  (34 C.F.R. § 300.530(i)(2))

independent educational evaluation: an evaluation conducted by a qualified examiner who is not employed by Albuquerque Public Schools.  (34 C.F.R. § 300.502(a) (3) (i))

initial evaluation: the first complete assessment of a child to determine if the child has a disability under the Act, and the nature and extent of special education and related services required.  (34 C.F.R. § 300.301)  Once a child has been fully evaluated, a decision has been rendered that the child is eligible for services under the Act, and the required services have been determined; any subsequent evaluation of the child, for purposes of this procedural directive, would constitute a “reevaluation.”  (71 Fed. Reg. 46640 (August 14, 2006))

IDEA: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

IEP: individualized education program.

IFSP: individual family services plan.

measurable post-secondary goals: refers to goals the child seeks to achieve after high school graduation.  The goals themselves must be measurable while the child is still in high school.  In addition, the nature of these goals will be different depending on the needs, abilities, and wishes of each individual child.  ( (4) NMAC)

mediation: a meeting or series of meetings that utilizes a mediator to assist parties to reconcile disputed matters related to a student's IEP or other educational, non-IEP-related issues.  ( NMAC)


(1)        A biological or adoptive parent of a child;

(2)       A foster parent, unless State law, regulations, or contractual obligations with a State or local entity prohibit a foster parent from acting as a parent;

(3)       A guardian generally authorized to act as the child’s parent, or authorized to make educational decisions for the child (but not the State if the child is a ward of the State);

(4)       An individual acting in the place of a biological or adoptive parent (including a grandparent, stepparent, or other relative) with whom the child lives, or an individual who is legally responsible for the child’s welfare; or

(5)       A surrogate parent who has been appointed in accordance with § 300.519 or section 639(a)(5) of the Act.

(34 C.F.R. § 300.34(a))

participating agency: any school district, agency, or institution that collects, maintains, or uses personally identifiable information, or from which information is obtained, under Part B of IDEA.

(34 CFR § 300.611)

peer-reviewed research: generally refers to research that is reviewed by qualified and independent reviewers to ensure that the quality of the information meets the standards of the field before the research is published.  However, there is no single definition of peer-reviewed research because the review process varies depending on the type of information to be reviewed.  (71 Fed. Reg. 46664 (August 14, 2006))

personally identifiable information: information that includes:

  • The child's name, the parent’s name as the parent, or the name of another family member;
  • The child's address;
  • A personal identifier, such as the child’s social security number or student number; or
  • A list of personal characteristics or other information that would make it possible to identify the child with reasonable certainty.

(34 CFR § 300.32)

public expense: Albuquerque Public Schools either pays for the full cost of the evaluation or ensures that the evaluation is otherwise provided at no cost to the parent, consistent with the provisions of Part B of IDEA, which allow each state to use whatever state, local, federal, and private sources of support are available in the state to meet the requirements of Part B of IDEA.  (34 C.F.R. § 300.502(a) (3) (ii))

related services: transportation and such developmental, corrective, and other supportive services as are required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education, and includes speech-language pathology and audiology services, interpreting services, psychological services, physical and occupational therapy, recreation including therapeutic recreation, early identification and assessment of disabilities in children, counseling services, including rehabilitation counseling, orientation and mobility services, and medical services for diagnostic or evaluation purposes.  Related services also include school health services and school nurse services, social work services in schools, and parent counseling and training.  (34 C.F.R. § 300.34(a))

serious bodily injury: has the meaning given the term “serious bodily injury” under paragraph (3) of subsection (h) of section 1365 of title 18, United States Code.  (34 C.F.R. § 300.530(i)(3))

special education: specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability.  (34 C.F.R. § 300.39(a))

supplementary aids and services: aids, services, and other supports that are provided in regular education classes, other education-related settings, and in extracurricular and nonacademic settings, to enable children with disabilities to be educated with nondisabled children to the maximum extent appropriate in accordance with the least restrictive environment requirements of the IDEA.  (34 C.F.R. § 300.42)

transition services: a coordinated set of activities for a child with a disability that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet unique needs and prepare the student for future education, employment, and independent living.  Transition services must:

  • Be designed to be within a results-oriented process, that is focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the child with a disability to facilitate the child’s movement from school to post-school activities, including post-secondary education, vocational education, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation;
  • Be based on the individual child’s needs;
  • Take into account the child’s strengths, preferences, and interests; and
  • Include:
    • Instruction;
    • Related services;
    • Community experiences;
    • The development of employment and other post-secondary adult living objectives; and
    • If appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and provision of a functional vocational evaluation.

(34 C.F.R. § 300.43(a); (2) NMAC)

unaccompanied youth: includes a youth not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian.  (42 U.S.C. § 11434a(6))

ward of the state: as used in IDEA, means a child who, as determined by New Mexico, is:

  • A foster child;
  • Considered a ward of the state under state law; or
  • In the custody of a public child welfare agency.

However, ward of the state does not include a foster child who has a foster parent who meets the definition of a parent as used in IDEA.

(34 C.F.R. § 300.45)

weapon: has the meaning given the term “dangerous weapon” under paragraph (2) of the first subsection (g) of section 930 of title 18, United States Code.  (34 C.F.R. § 300.530(i)(4))