NCLB, AYP, IDEA, IEP—these are but a few of the numerous acronyms and abbreviations that principals and other educators use on a regular basis when discussing education. Throw in the district- or state-specific terms, such as the acronyms used for some state tests, and it’s no surprise that many parents are scratching their heads when they see the alphabet soup all over school letterhead, or even in newspaper articles.

According to a recent Tennessean article, one school system provides a catalog of phrases for parents to learn as a way to help ease the possible confusion. It’s no easy task for us to keep track of all the abbreviations, so make sure to keep that in mind when corresponding with your students’ parents.

re: Avoid Serving Alphabet Soup to Parents

I have found that the amounts of abbreviations in education are over whelming. The special education department has to win the prize for the amount of acronyms. I think the idea of a handbook or a quick reference for parents would take the anxiety out of parent conferences. A good place for these definitions should be placed in the student handbook.