Advanced Academic Program (AAP) Center-Based

Students that are centrally selected to attend a center-based program on a full-time basis receive a challenging instructional program in the four core subject areas. The program provides a strong emphasis on higher level thinking, problem solving, and decision making. Students have ongoing opportunities for reflection and self-assessment that develop an understanding of the characteristics, demands, and responsibilities of advanced intellectual development. (Also see the Noncenter-Based Local Level IV Program below)


A program within an existing high school that offers advanced technical and specialized courses which successfully integrate career and academic preparation. Each academy emphasizes instruction in one or more career fields: communication arts; engineering and scientific technology; health and human services; and international studies and business.

Advanced Placement (AP) Program

An intensive program of college-level courses and examinations that provides high school students with an opportunity to earn advanced placement, college credit, or both, at participating colleges and universities across the country. The AP program bridges the transition from high school to college by offering students the opportunity to develop academic strengths through rigorous curricula, challenging national examinations, and exposure to academic experiences usually reserved for college students.


Refers to specific positions and other resources that are provided to specific schools, departments, and offices. For example, we have a per pupil allocation for textbooks.

Alternative High School

Two schools, our High Schools, provide credit courses leading to a diploma for students ages 17-22 who require a flexible or extended program to accommodate work, family, and other circumstances that prevent them from participating in the general education program.

Assistant Director of Student Activities

The assistant director of student activities will assist the director of student activities in organizing and coordinating a comprehensive program in student activities that is designed to meet the needs and interests of the school community. The assistant director will provide effective leadership that will ensure a positive learning environment and will stress the importance of academic achievement. In carrying out these duties, the assistant director of student activities will demonstrate a high degree of ethics, professionalism, human relations and be a positive role model for all students.

Average Class Size

The result of dividing the total number of students by the number of classroom teachers (with adjustments at middle and high school for the number of classes a student takes and the number of periods a teacher instructs). The distribution of students among schools and grade levels means that some classes will be above the average and some classes will be below the average.

Base School

A student's base school (also referred to as local school) is where a student would be enrolled because their address is geographically located within that school's boundary (attendance) area. Some students attend programs (i.e. Center-Based AAP) that are not offered at their base school. Other students may transfer to schools outside of their base school if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Central Departments/Support

Positions and other resources that are nonschool-based and provide support to schools. Support is provided by the Departments of Instructional Services, Special Services, Financial Services, Human Resources, Facilities and Transportation, and Information Technology; the Chiefs; Deputy Superintendent; Division Superintendent; Region Offices; and the School Board Office.

Class Size Formula

The calculation used to determine how many teacher positions to budget for a school. The formula includes the enrollment plus a factor for the number of students eligible for Free and Reduced-Price Meals divided by 26.75 for elementary, 27.4 for middle, and 30.5 for high school. For middle and high schools, adjustments are made to account for students taking seven periods and teachers instructing for five periods.

Class Size Increase

An increase to the divisor used in the class size formula. For example, if the elementary staffing formula were changed from 26.75 to 27.00, this would result in a class size increase of 0.25 students per teacher.

Community Facility User Fees

An increase to the divisor used in the class size formula. For example, if the elementary staffing formula were changed from 26.75 to 27.00, this would result in a class size increase of 0.25 students per teacher.

Contract Days

Contract days are the number of days that our employees are required to work on an annual basis.

Counselor/School Counselor

A school counselor is a licensed educator with a minimum of a master's degree in school counseling. A school counselor supports students in the development of skills and attitudes needed to achieve academic success, college and career readiness, and social/emotional development. Specific duties include, but are not limited to, individual and small group counseling, classroom lessons, school or grade level-wide programs, consultation and referrals, and academic advising in addition to other duties as assigned. School counselors analyze student and program data to shape their services and determine the effectiveness of their programs and work in collaboration with school administrators, teachers, and other school-based colleagues to support all students.

English Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)

The ESOL program helps students with limited English proficiency learn literacy and content concepts in order to function successfully in the general education program. The provision of services to students is federally mandated by Part A of Title III, officially known as the English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement Act, under the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

Extended Contracts

As used in the Budget Builder Tool item, High School Teachers – Pay for Teachers to Teach 1 Additional Class and Reduce Teachers, the term refers to having high school teachers teach six rather than five periods per day. While this would allow for an overall reduction of teachers, the remaining teachers would lose a period of instructional planning time. As a result of teaching the sixth period, the teachers would need to receive a supplement for exceeding the state teacher load. (Also known as Additional Time Contracts)

Free and Reduced-Price Meals (FRM)

A federally-funded school meals program provides free or reduced-price meals to children determined to be eligible based on federal guidelines.Eligibility for FRM is the criteria often used to exempt students from paying fees. Schools with high percentages of FRM eligible students receive additional resources. (Also see Needs Based Staffing)


FTE stands for Full-time Equivalent position. FTE is the result of dividing the number of days on the salary schedule that the position is assigned by the number of days an employee is contracted to work on an annual basis. FTE also may be the result of dividing the number of hours the position is required to work by the standard number of hours worked per day for that type of position. Positions are assigned to salary schedules which differ depending on the number of days paid and the hours worked per day annually.

Grade Level

A grade level is one of the series of grades represented in elementary, middle, and high schools. Grade 2, grade 7, and grade 11 are grade levels represented in elementary, middle, and high schools, respectively.

Great Beginnings Program

A comprehensive new teacher induction program that focuses on supporting new teachers and provides mentoring, professional teaching standards, classroom-based teacher learning, and ongoing program assessment.

Instructional Coach

These positions lead and guide teachers in data analysis, best instructional practices, and collaboration to improve student learning. The coaching work, whether with a new teacher, a veteran teacher, or a group of teachers, will always center on the bottom line: reading, math, and closing the gap in a culture of collaboration.

International Baccalaureate (IB) Program

The International Baccalaureate (IB) Program offers high quality programs of international education to a worldwide community of schools including our County Public Schools. At the heart of the IB mission is the creation of a better world through education. The IB consists of three programs of international education for students ages 3 to 19. Our County Public Schools offers two of the programs – the Middle Years Program for grades 6 through 10 (Also see the Middle Years International Baccalaureate (IBMYP) Program below) and the Diploma Program for students in grades 11 and 12. (Also see the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program below) One elementary school offers the Primary Years IB Program, however; the program is entirely funded by a grant.

International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program

An internationally recognized advanced academic program for students in grades 11 and 12. The program provides college level course work in six academic areas and provides students with an opportunity to earn advances placement, college credit, or both, at participating colleges and universities across the country. (Also see the Middle Years International Baccalaureate Program (IBMYP) below)

Language Immersion Program

Selected elementary and middle schools offer partial immersion programs in French, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, and German. Students acquire foreign language skills while mastering the content curriculum. (Also referred to as Foreign Language Immersion Program)

Later High School Start Times

Beginning in the 2015-2016 school year, high schools will start at 8:00 or 8:10 a.m. Prior to the 2015-2016 school year, high schools started at approximately 7:20 a.m.

Local Funding

Revenue that is provided by our County Government. The majority of the revenue (71%) is from local funds. The primary source of County's revenue is real estate property taxes.


Any service or program that is required to be provided to Federal, State, or local law or regulation. Some mandates are very specific and others very general in terms of the level of service that must be provided and/or how the service or program must be implemented.

Market Scale Adjustment (MSA)

An annual adjustment in wages that may be provided to employees to offset changes in purchasing power. The MSA is often referred to as Cost-of-Living Adjustment or COLA.

Middle School After School Program

All middle schools currently have a regularly scheduled after-school program for five days a week. Late bus transportation is provided three days per week, generally on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Parents/guardians must provide for transportation on Tuesday and Friday. Particular program offerings vary by school, but all middle school after-school programs offer activities that address four key strategies: Academic Support and Enrichment; Social Skill and Youth Development; Physical, Health, and Recreational; and Family and Community Involvement.

Middle Years International Baccalaureate Program (IBMYP)

A five year program designed for students in grades 6-10. The program promotes communication and vertical articulation within the pyramid of schools to improve student achievement, and prepares students to meet the academic challenges of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program. (Also see International Baccalaureate (IB) Program above)

Needs Based Staffing

Additional staffing allocated to a school if 20 percent or more of the students are eligible for Free and Reduced Price Meals (FRM). A weighted factor is applied to the number of FRM eligible students at each school in the general education staffing formula to generate additional staffing. (Also see Free and Reduced Price Meals)

Noncenter-Based Local Level IV Program

This program provides students another avenue to access advanced academic services in their base or local school. Center-eligible students, who choose to remain in their local schools, receive the same advanced academic curriculum as students who attend centers. Depending on the number of eligible students at the local school, a student will attend classes with other center-eligible students and/or other high achieving students. (Also see Advanced Academic Program (AAP) Center-Based above)


Funding for a service or program that is not provided by federal or state grant monies, but instead by local or state revenue which is not restricted in terms of its use. Some programs such as the Great Beginnings (described above), are funded by both grant monies and local funds (nongrant).


A service or program provided by us that is not required by Federal, State, or local laws or regulations. Some mandates are very specific and others very general in terms of level of service that must be provided and/or how the service or program must be implemented.


Nonschool-based employees work primarily at Gatehouse or other administrative sites to provide systemwide support (e.g., human resources, payroll, etc.)

Nonschool-Based Employees on 12-Month Schedules

Positions include assistant superintendents, directors, coordinators, business specialists, functional supervisors, trades personnel, custodians, technology support specialists, program/administrative assistants, executive principals, auditors, and educational specialists.

Online Classes

Our Online Campus delivers courses identical in content to those offered in our traditional classrooms and uses multimedia to engage students. The courses are aligned with the State Standards of Learning and follow our Program of Studies.

Operating Fund (School Operating Fund)

This fund provides for the day-to-day operations and maintenance of the schools and is funded primarily by county and state funds.

Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT)

The PSAT is a primer for the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) that many colleges and universities require for admission. The PSAT also is a qualifying test for the National Merit Scholarship.

Preschool (Early Childhood) Program

Classes are provided to children ages 3-5 from families with low-income in selected schools. The objective is to ensure that children acquire the social and educational skills necessary to succeed in Kindergarten.

Professional Development

Learning and growth opportunities are provided to teachers and other staff both in person or online. Teachers and school-based staff may access professional development in areas such as teacher evaluation, curriculum updates, use of technology in the classroom, and classroom strategies and best-practices.

Pupil Placement

Students may apply to enroll in schools that are not their base or local school if they meet the eligibility requirements.

Pyramid of Schools

Refers to the structural representation of how specific elementary schools feed into specific middle schools which then feed into a high school which is at the top of the structure.


School-based employees primarily work directly with students or staff in schools (i.e., in ES, MS, HS, or special education centers), in programs for students in other locations (e.g., alternative learning), or in other locations serving students (e.g., Devonshire for hearing testing).

School-Based Employees on 12-Month Schedules

Examples of positions are after school specialists, principals, custodians, finance technicians, operating engineers, technology support specialists.

School-Based Support Positions on 10 & 11 Month Schedules

Examples of positions are assistant principals, certified athletic trainers, psychologists, social workers, safety and security specialists/assistants, public health training assistants, special education attendants, school-based technology specialists, and office assistants.


One of two halves of the academic school year. Our schools, like most other schools in the country, have two semesters.

Small Elementary Schools

An elementary school whose enrollment and Free and Reduced-Price Meals factor is not great enough to generate 12.0 teacher positions for grades 1-6 is considered a small school for the purpose of staffing. In this instance, our budgets 12.0 teacher positions to guarantee that the school receives 2.0 positions per grade level.

Special Education

Specially designed instruction, at no cost to the parent, to meet the unique needs of a child with disabilities, including classroom instruction, instruction in physical education, home instruction, and instruction in hospitals and institutions. The term also includes speech therapy or any other related service and vocational education that is defined in a student's Individual Education Plan. Special education is mandated by the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Students may be served in general education classrooms for all or part of the day and/or in small, self-contained special education classes.

State Minimum

A minimum number of staff or other resources required (mandated) by the state.

Step Increase

Increased pay provided to employees each year based on grade and years of service. Educational qualifications are a factor on our teacher salary scale. The experience factor is listed in the rows (shown by step) and the educational qualifications are in the columns. In the columns, teachers earn different salaries depending on the degree held – bachelors, masters, or doctorate with intermediate columns such as masters + 30, which denotes a master's degree plus thirty credits of additional graduate work. As teachers progress through the rows, they earn a higher salary for each year of teaching experience.


A daily amount that is paid to teachers and other school-based staff who work beyond their normal duty day to lead school activities. The amount is not included in their base pay therefore, benefits are not included.

Student Activities/After School Activities

At the elementary level, we provide opportunities for students as safety patrols, as well as in publications, student government, and performing arts groups. At the middle school level, we provide for involvement in performing arts groups, student government, newspaper, yearbook, drama, general interest clubs, and the literary magazine. At the high school level, we offer opportunities for student growth and enrichment through athletics, student government, performing arts groups, publications, honor societies, and special interest clubs. These programs support academic success, provide opportunities for students to connect with the school and community, and to develop and gain leadership experience.

Student Athletics

High school students are provided the opportunity to join a variety of athletic teams that compete with other school teams in the Virginia High School League. Varsity teams are the highest level of interscholastic competition. Teams are open to all high school grade levels, subject to local school policy. Junior Varsity (JV) teams are competitive developmental teams. Teams are open to freshmen and sophomores. At the coach's discretion and in accordance with local school policy, a junior may be selected to play JV. As JV programs are developmental in nature, seniors do not play on a JV team. Freshmen teams are competitive developmental teams and are only open to freshmen.

Supplemental/Extra Staffing

Staff that are provided to schools over and above the standard allocations. Additional staff may be provided to coordinate special programs in schools, such as IB.

System-Funded Summer School

Our Operating Fund helps support extended learning time in the summer and/or throughout the year for elementary and middle school students. Programs are designed by principals to best meet the needs of students in their schools who generally are performing below grade level based on common assessments, division wide assessments, Standards of Learning results, grades, and teacher recommendations.


A division of the academic school year into three parts or terms. The proposal listed in the Budget Builder Tool would change high schools to five periods per day on a trimester schedule rather than the current schedule of seven periods per day on a two-semester schedule. Some courses would be taught for two of the three terms (trimesters) and others would be taught for only one term.