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West Chatham Elementary
820 Pine Barren Road
Pooler, GA 31322
Phone: (912) 395-3600
FAX: (912) 201-5646

Sharon Draeger,

Hours: Bell Times
PK - 5th

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Terms to Know 

Educational Terms Parents Should Know 

National Education Symbol

GPS - Georgia Performance Standards.  In Georgia, these standards are what your child is expected to know at each grade level. The performance standards provide clear expectations for instruction, assessment, and student work. They define the level of work that demonstrates achievement of the standards, enabling a teacher to know what concepts a student is expected to master.


AYP - Adequate Yearly Progress. AYP is one of the cornerstones of the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). It is an annual measure of student participation and achievement of statewide assessments and other academic indicators. Accountability is key to NCLB - the State of Georgia, each local school district, and each individual school will be held accountable for the academic success of students. The federal law requires that each State set high academic standards and implement an extensive student testing program which is aligned with standards and which measures students' achievement based on the standards.  

Title I - "Title One" of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 is a set of programs set up by the United States Department of Education to distribute funding to schools and school districts with a high percentage of students from low-income families. To qualify as a Title I school, a school typically has around 40% or more of its students that come from families that qualify under the United States Census's definitions as low-income. Schools receiving Title I funding are regulated by federal legislation, including the No Child Left Behind Act.


PTA - Parent Teacher Association. PTA is a grass roots organization that brings parents and teachers together so they can work towards improving the lives and education of students. Simply, a PTA is a group of adults, both men and women, affiliated with a school that have organized to work to help children thrive and learn — whether that means fundraising for school supplies, educating parents, helping teachers, or fighting for legislation to ensure every child gets a high-quality education.


RTI - Responsiveness To Intervention.  RTI is an education model that promotes early identification of students who may be at risk for learning difficulties. RTI, which may be one component in the process a school uses to determine whether a student has a learning disability, often involves tiers of increasingly intense levels of service for students.  Struggling learners are provided with interventions at increasing levels of intensity to accelerate their rate of learning. Progress is closely monitored to assess both the learning rate and level of performance of individual students. Educational decisions about the intensity and duration of interventions are based on individual student response to instruction. RTI is a valuable construct because of its potential utility in providing appropriate learning experiences for all students and for its use in the early identification of students at risk for academic failure. Students benefit when their current levels of skill and ability are aligned with the instructional and curricular choices provided within their classroom.


Exceptional Children – Also known as Special Education, the Department for Exceptional Children strives to provide comprehensive support with the purpose of providing educational services to children with disabilities to meet their individual needs. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a federal law that provides for the education of students with disabilities. All students with disabilities, ages 3-21, have the right to receive a free, appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment, with their non-disabled peers, based on identified needs included in their Individualized Education Program (IEP).

IEP – Individual Education Plan.  Each public school child who receives special education and related services must have an IEP.  The IEP guides the delivery of special education supports and services for the student with a disability.  Each IEP must be designed for one student and must be a truly individualized document. The IEP creates an opportunity for teachers, parents, school administrators, related services personnel, and students (when appropriate) to work together to improve educational results for children with disabilities.  To create an effective IEP, parents, teachers, and other school staff pool knowledge to look closely at the student's unique need and help the student be involved in, and progress in, the general curriculum.


Inclusion – An inclusive education refers to the commitment to educate each child, to the maximum extent appropriate, in the school and classroom he or she would otherwise attend. It involves bringing the support services to the child so that he or she may have access to the general curriculum.


ESL or ESOL - English as a Second Language or English to Speakers of Other Languages. Both terms refer to the use or study of English by speakers with a different native language. This program combines literacy and language instruction.




Gifted Program - A Chatham Co. program for students who demonstrates a high degree of intellectual and/or creative ability(ies), exhibit an exceptionally high degree of motivation, and/or excel in specific academic fields and who need special instruction and/or special ancillary services to achieve at levels commensurate with their abilities. 



CRCT - Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests. The CRCT is a standardized test, used by the state of Georgia, designed to measure how well students acquire the skills and knowledge described in the Georgia Performance Standards (GPS). The assessments yield information on academic achievement at the student, class, school, system, and state levels. This information is used to diagnose individual student strengths and weaknesses as related to the instruction of the GPS, and to gauge the quality of education throughout Georgia.  



Specials - Extracurricular courses, such as Physical Education (P.E.), Art, Music, Character Education, Math, Reading and Writing Labs, and Media/Computer classes at WCES.




Retention – Retention school refers to repeating an academic year of school. Retention in school is also called grade retention, being held back, or repeating a grade.