Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Secret #17: Learn the lingo

Educational lingo can be confusing but every line of work has it's own language and you'll need to become fluent in school boardese.

Here's a few items that may not be in your daily vocabulary now but will be soon if you're on the School Board:
  •  we don't have problems, we have challenges
  •  we don't refer to secretaries anymore, they're administrative assistants
  •  the people who keep our buildings clean are not janitors, they're custodial staff.  In one bargaining meeting I was at with the custodial staff, a CUPE rep was harshly reprimanded by the Local President for using the j word.
  • ASBA- the Alberta School Boards Association
  • PSBAA- the Public School Boards Association
  • CSBA- the Canadian School Boards Association
  • NSBA- the National School Boards Association( in the U.S.)
  • ACOL- Alberta Commission on Learning, which recommended( among other things) maximum class sizes that school districts are expected to adhere to
  • ATA- the Alberta Teachers Association, either provincial or local
  • Metro Boards- the 4 school boards in Edmonton and Calgary( 2 public and 2 Catholic), which together educate over half the students in Alberta
  • AISI- Alberta Initiative for School Improvement
  • ASEBP- Alberta School Employee Benefit Plan, a province wide health and welfare trust for Alberta's basic education sector employees, jointly sponsored by ASBA and ATA
  • CEU- Credit Enrollment Unit, the mechanism for funding high schools
  • CUPE 474 - the district's custodial staff union
  • CUPE 784-  the district's maintenance staff union
  • CUPE 3550- the district's support staff union
  • FNMI- First Nations, Metis, Inuit
  • FOIP- Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act
  • GLA- Grade Level of Achievement
  • IPP- Individualized Program Plan
  • PATs- Provincial Achievement Tests
  • POM- Plant Operation and Maintenance, one of the provincial government's funding envelops
  • Unit Costs- in relation to our staff, this is an average dollar amount that is used for budgeting purposes.  For example, the current teacher unit cost( salary + benefits) is about $94,000.
And a whole lot more!

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