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Special School District of St. Louis County
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The field of special education is rife with technical jargon and acronyms. Learn some frequently used acronyms and terms in special education.

Use the Acronym and Key Term Finder to search for additional terms.

AC – Area Coordinator. SSD staff who serve as the main SSD contact and supervisor for SSD staff working in the 23 partner school districts in St. Louis County. These individuals serve a similar role to principals at school buildings.

DESE – Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. DESE is a state agency that works with educators, legislators, government agencies and citizens to maintain a strong public education system in Missouri. Through its statewide school-improvement activities and regulatory functions, DESE strives to assure that all citizens have access to high-quality public education.

ECSE – Early Childhood Special Education. Programs designed for children who are diagnosed as having an educational disability and are three years old and within two years of eligibility for kindergarten.

EPS – Effective Practice Specialist. SSD countywide staff with specialized expertise in technical areas such as occupational therapy, physical therapy or adaptive physical education.

IDEA – Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Passed originally in 1974, IDEA is the overarching federal legislation that governs the way school districts provide special education in the United States.

IEP – Individualized Education Program. Every student in the United States who receives special education services must have an IEP designed to meet the student’s unique needs. An IEP creates an opportunity for teachers, parents, students and other professionals to work together to improve educational results for the student.

Least Restrictive Environment. Provision of Public Law 94-142 (IDEA) that states that children with disabilities must be educated with their non-disabled peers to the maximum extent possible.

MAP/MAP-A – Missouri Assessment Program. Statewide testing program with subject-area assessments or alternate assessments.

SLP – Speech/Language Pathologist. A specialist who evaluates and provides treatment and therapy for speech, language, communication and listening disorders to students in one-on-one or group settings.

SNAP – Special Non-Public Access Program. A federally funded program in which SSD teachers provide after-school special education services to St. Louis County students who attend private or parochial schools or who are home-schooled. The after-school nature of the program allows students to receive special education and related services without having to leave their non-public schools in the middle of the day.

TDD – Telecommunication Devices for the Deaf. An electronic device used for telephone communications by persons who are deaf or who have other hearing difficulties.
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12110 Clayton Rd, Town & Country, MO 63131  /  314.989.8100  /  314.989.8552 – 711 (Missouri Relay)

Special School District of St. Louis County (SSD) is a leader in providing special education services to students with disabilities and also provides a wide range of career and technical education programs.
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