What is an EOG and an IEP? Understanding all the Acronyms

When I started teaching one of the first things I noticed was how much education lingo consists of acronyms. I would sit in meetings and hear about ELL and ELA, leadership would talk about IEP meetings and AIG programs. It felt like there was always a catchy new acronym. If you have a headache already I don’t blame you. It’s harder than keeping up with my teenager’s texting acronyms. Educators are notorious for overusing these, don’t even get me started on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math). How is that even a specialty? Isn’t that just all the subjects in one acronym? So we thought we would help you out. We made a cheat sheet for you with the most common education acronyms. 


General Education:

EOC – End of Course testing –. A statewide general assessment administered to high school students at the completion of select high school courses to measure student achievement of the content standards for the content area

EOG – End of Grade testing- grades 3-8 tests assess student proficiency in key subjects. All students in North Carolina take End-of-Grade reading and math tests every year in grades 3-8. Fifth and eighth graders also take an End-of-Grade science test.

PBIS – Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports -an approach schools use to promote school safety and good behavior. With PBIS, schools teach kids about behavior expectations and strategies. The focus is prevention, not punishment.

SEL – Social Emotional Learning – a methodology that helps students of all ages to better comprehend their emotions, to feel those emotions fully, and demonstrate empathy for others.


Curriculum and Instruction:

PBL – Project Based Learning – a student-centered approach in which students learn about a subject by working in groups to solve an open-ended problem in real-world and personally meaningful projects. 

IB – International Baccalaureate  – The International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) developed its first programme in 1968. The IB Diploma Programme (DP) was designed for grades 11 and 12 as way for students to explore the interdisciplinary complexities of our world and to provide them with the skills and attitudes to make it better. The DP is considered a rigorous college preparatory program much like AP. There is also a  middle years and a primary years program which were designed with the core principal that young people should have an intercultural understanding of the world. 

AP – Advanced Placement, allows high schoolers to complete college level courses – a program of classes developed by the College Board to give high school students an introduction to college-level classes and also gain college credit before even graduating high school

STEM (STEAM)- Science Technology (Arts) Engineering Mathematics  – an approach to learning and development that integrates the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Through STEM, students develop key skills including: problem solving. creativity.

ELA – English Language Arts – a core course of instruction in an elementary or secondary school where students develop listening, speaking, reading, composition, grammar, and spelling skills in English.

CTE – Career and Technical Education – is the practice of teaching specific career skills to students in middle school, high school, and post-secondary institutions.



AIG – Academically Intellectually Gifted (Wake County Specific) – students who perform or show the potential to perform at substantially high levels of accomplishment when compared with others of their age, experiences or environment. Enrichment services for AIG are conducted through pull out sessions. 

ELL – English Language Learner – These students are generally mainstreamed in the regular classroom but receive additional supports as English is not their native language. 

ESL – English as a Second Language- These students are typically pulled out of the mainstream setting for individualized and specialized instruction in English.

GT – Gifted and Talented (Wake County Specific) – A magnet school program in which students explore their gifts and talents outside of core curriculum. 


Special Education: 

IEP – Individualized Education Plan, updated annually – The purpose of an IEP is to lay out the special education instruction, supports, and services a student needs to thrive in school.

504 – A plan for accommodations – designed to ensure that a child who has a disability, identified under the law, receives accommodations that will ensure their academic success and access to the learning environment. A student is entitled to a Section 504 Accommodation Plan if he/she has an identified disability and/or impairment that substantially limits activity.

EC – Exceptional Children – Designation for students who have different educational needs than the average child. Many children in exceptional children’s (EC) programs have physical, mental, or social disabilities, but in North Carolina academically gifted children are also classified as EC.


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